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How A Day In The Life Of A Wealth Manager Changes With AI

Tom Burroughes Group Editor Singapore 2 June 2023


This story forms part of a wider narrative on the type of skills and characteristics that wealth managers will need to have in the future, a topic this publication will continue to explore in coming days and weeks. 

When the CFA Institute recently launched a certificate in data science for investment professionals, and a handbook on AI, it showed how technology affects the wealth management sphere more than ever before. And it is bound to shape the whole talent management agenda for years.

The kind of subjects that the CFA Institute adds to its CFA Program curriculum and certificate programmes are like a barometer of the knowledge advisors will need in future. Back in 2021, for example, it also launched a certificate in ESG investing as a global examination. 

“We try to look ahead and see what’s coming down the line,” Larry Cao, senior director, industry research, at CFA Institute, told this news service. His organization has recently interviewed hundreds of CFA charterholders, and most do not see AI taking their jobs in the immediate future.

“Only a tiny proportion of them think it will change their jobs,” he said. In the longer term, however, the impact on employment in the financial advisory industry might be larger, he said.

CFA Institute recently launched its Handbook Of Artificial Intelligence And Big Data Applications In Investments, which examines what’s working in the industry and the techniques in use.

The rise of chatbots and other AI-powered communications that can apply is an area of interest, for example, Cao said. AI is also useful for handling compliance tasks because it can identify what’s right and wrong, depending on the rules in certain jurisdictions. Given the data management aspects, it can also be used for framing ESG investment models, he said.

There is a way to go for the use of AI, he said.

“I don’t see a lot of successful end-to-end solutions that use AI [in wealth management]. It is mostly changing different pieces of the investment process.”

The question, which even touches on philosophical questions about what consciousness is (and is not), is how far AI can “replace” human consciousness and cognition?

“Analytical skills, the development of an argument are where humans continue to excel. That’s why AI is not an end-to-end solution in most instances,” Cao said. 

The CFA Institute Data Science for Investment Professionals Certificate is aimed at, but not exclusive to, investment professionals in roles such as investment analysis, managing portfolios and managing client relations. 

As noted above, wealth managers are wrestling with how AI will affect wealth managers' job roles – will it replace RMs and bankers, or augment them, and empower them to do more high-value tasks that build revenues? The hope is that it is the latter.

This article forms part of a wider narrative on the type of skills and characteristics that wealth managers will need to have in the future, a topic this publication will continue to explore in coming days and weeks. 

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