I was delighted to have had the opportunity to speak on a panel at the Global Leaders Forum yesterday on the impact of new technologies in the wealth management industry, alongside Matthew Gardiner of Catch London, Emad Mostaque of Capricorn Fund Managers and Dirk Kolvenbach of Heuking Kuhn Luer Wojtek.
Alongside the present challenges associated with identifying and protecting the value of new types of digital assets, one of the main themes to come out of the discussion was that first movers adapting to new technologies can compound their lead.
The wealth management industry has, on the whole, been fairly insulated from the impact which technological developments have had on the broader financial system, but that is not likely to remain the case and we must not be complacent about the specialist and personal nature of our advice. In particular, in a world where value is often driven by the volume of data amassed and analysed, rather than profitability, the "robo-advisers" encroaching with speed on the mass-affluent market could be in a stronger position to use that mass of data to drive their offering towards the higher end of the market.
Law firms and wealth managers therefore need to make sure that they are finding new ways to interact with the next generation of clients and communicating the part of their offering which cannot be replicated by a machine. Personal relationships and creative, holistic solutions will be key, but one of the challenges will be how we start and build those relationships when the intermediary landscape may look very different.