(L-R) Andrew Whelan and Alex Gassner

The boundary of the application of artificial intelligence (AI) has been much debated, but two advice services have taken the technology conceptually in different ways to aid the advice process.

Although there may be the natural anxious reaction from advisers that AI or other technology could replace them, recent research from Neilson & Co Wealth managing partner Ben Neilson has asserted that AI tools will, at best, complement industry professionals rather than replace them.

On example is Australian-based start-up paraplanner.ai, which will soon debut in the US market. The technology behind services aims to automate time-consuming tasks and give frequent, personalised attention to financial planners’ clients through AI.

These tasks are typically covered by paraplanners, but with the talent shortage in the advice profession impacting support staff as well as financial advisers, the firm believes there will be demand.

“We’re looking to automate a lot of the admin-heavy tasks from client onboarding to plan production and client engagement that financial planners shouldn’t be focusing on,” paraplanner.ai chief growth officer Alex Gassner tells Professional Planner.

“[By stripping out] all of that type of work, they can focus on delivering value to clients and growing their business.”

With the spike of interest in services like ChatGPT, Gassner says that AI will only grow in significance within the finance industry.

“It will allow professionals to spend more time on things that add value, helping clients navigate complex financial and emotional life decisions that have a real impact on their goals and objectives,” he says.

“What this means is that advice businesses are finally able to scale a white glove service offering.”

Global expansion on the cards

Prominent US investor Antler has backed paraplanner.ai, which will initially be targeted at the US market, but Gassner says there are other markets in mind, including his home market.

“With my experience of a decade in the Australian market, having run out-sourced paraplanning and practice consulting businesses, I will be spearheading expansion in the Australian market when the time is right,” Gassner says.

Additionally, paraplanner.ai CEO Denis Konoplev has highlighted the platform’s comprehensive approach to ensuring strict adherence to relevant laws.

“We have collaborated with legal experts, committed to exceeding minimum standards, and developed a rigorous quality control process,” Konoplev says.