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Viridian CEO canvasses generalist and specialist advisers

Mike Taylor21 February 2024
Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have a role to play in bringing down the cost of financial advice, according to the joint chief executive of Viridian, Glenn Calder.

Calder has outlined a scenario where AI might be used to triage advice clients and where financial advisers might adopt specialities.

Participating in an Institute of Managed Accounts Professionals (IMAP) webinar focused on the use of AI in financial advice, Calder said he disagreed with the contention that financial advice could not be made cheaper.

“I think it’s going to go one of a couple of ways. You will get levels of advice, the equivalent of going to a GP, for example, and then referrals into specialists,” he said. “And we’ve made a lot of investment, whether we’ve got sort of chief investment officer, for example, aged care specialist – a lot of that sort of capability.

“I think that ability to triage is going to increase, specifically through AI. And when you have a look at all of the people who touch a client file now, everything from potentially an adviser and maybe an associate, a paraplanner or compliance officer, for example, I mean, you could have four, five, six people,” Calder said.

“Now, some of those roles may repoint themselves into being client facing, as opposed to more data analytics or protection, if you like. I would think that’s got to manifest itself in either higher profitability or the laws of supply and demand will reduce some of the cost of that advice back to probably where it should be.”

Calder said he could see a situation where a specialist adviser might see only 30 or 40 clients, whereas a generalist might look after 200 or 300 client but play in their zone and be very efficient and effective and what they do.

“So I can see, absolutely, that some advice comes down [in price], but equally, some of that specialist advice is absolutely valued, too.”

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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