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The ultimate future of robo-advice?

Mark Stringer, UK Head of Wealth and Asset Management at Capco, talks about Managed Integrated Money Information (MIMI). This is an AI software programme which has a user interface that leverages deep machine-based learning and is capable of managing human financial requirements, and its impact on traditional wealth advisers.

Fast forward to 2025. It’s Friday evening in a family home. Dad is facing a hefty bill from the garage for the car, and wants to check that they can afford the repairs. The 12-year-old is desperate to know if they can book tickets for the Cup final. The 19-year-old hasn’t stopped talking about the Ibiza holiday she’s planning with friends. Mum’s response to all their questions, as she sits checking their investment portfolio online, is the same: “MIMI’s on it!”

So, who’s MIMI? Her PA? A dedicated coordinator from a private banking service? Neither. MIMI is a finance-focused digital assistant – albeit a highly advanced one. MIMI stands for Managed Integrated Money Information whose job it is to make sure every touchpoint between the family’s life and their money is optimized. MIMI embodies the kind of data-driven, fully personalized customer-centricity that consumers increasingly demand- and financial institutions dream of being able to provide.

Deep machine-based learning

Fantasy? We think not. MIMI is an (artificially) intelligent software program with her ‘head in the cloud’. She has a user interface that leverages deep machine-based learning and is capable of managing human financial requirements.

Unlike today’s digital assistants, MIMI is on a 24/7 mission to continuously improve and manage a family’s portfolio of financial assets – anything from cash and monthly household spend, to complex investments and savings plans; monitoring stocks and currency markets, analyzing news and the latest analyst notes and research. Given that we’re seeing the biggest intergenerational wealth transfer in the UK and globally, MIMI has the potential to bring an entire family onto a single platform, enhancing the Know Your Family (KYF) element that’s crucial for the wealth industry..

While robo-advisers were launched less than a decade ago, the market has seen explosive growth. It is estimated that funds managed by such software will grow to $385bn by 2021.

Marketing gimmick

With wealth management relying heavily on trust and human touch, most companies in the industry still think of AI as a marketing gimmick, or at best as a nice-to-have. But with the advent of cognitive science-based technologies, personal digital advisers could be the future state.

We’re obviously not there yet. On top of both company and consumer adoption (and privacy concerns), there’s regulation to consider. Regulators will need to define what a robo-adviser can or cannot do with a client’s portfolio, before allowing AI to truly take over investors’ financial decisions.

We do expect the number of traditional advisers to fall. Those remaining, will likely work with robo-advisers to provide hybrid advice, and have larger books of business, perhaps managed by smaller teams, as advisers focus more than ever on growing assets rather than managing the money; we think AI could drive most portfolio-related functions, research and data analysis. It’s also possible that financial advisery services provided by humans could carve out a niche for themselves, as one of the exotic asset classes to diversify tail-risk.

Wealth managers 

So, wealth managers must ask themselves: “What are we going to do about MIMI?”

Back to our family’s Friday night. Thanks to MIMI, Billy knows he can order the tickets from his starter savings account because Mum had configured ‘Cup Final tickets’ into MIMI’s goal based saving feature. The longed-for Ibiza trip is insured for nothing with complimentary flights, courtesy of some nifty student loan selection. The car repairs can be paid from the rainy-day fund, info which MIMI sweeps from the family’s various bank accounts using the Open Banking access MIMI provides. Mum has even booked dinner as a surprise for Dad, since MIMI selected ‘dining’ as a special interest ‘goal’ when updating their credit card reward preferences. And Mum and Dad manage the family’s investment portfolio, more effectively than ever, with expert input from MIMI.

MIMI possibly represents the ultimate in customer focus, which cannot go unnoticed by wealth managers. In the digital age, perhaps MIMI is the best ancillary service wealth managers can explore to enhance the client experience and stay connected with the family; investing and scanning for best deals 24/7 to make their money go further.

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