Andrew Saikal-Skea (left) and Andrew Dunbar

Some financial advisers are ignoring the potential benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) to get the job done better, while others are implementing AI in a bid to gain a competitive edge.

Arch Capital managing director Nigel Baker sees the reality of high demand from consumers retiring and needing advice while the industry struggles with capacity constraints.

Nigel Baker

“It’s hard to find talent, and older client books have a lot of low value clients, where the cost to serve exceeds the fee in the current business model,” Baker tells Professional Planner. “No longer can high fee clients subsidise others.”

To solve this issue, Arch Capital has looked at AI to create a better connectivity between advice and technology so it can focus on complex clients and provide a valuable service.

“We’re using a digital platform that will incorporate AI to help us serve more people more efficiently, and at the end of the day as advisers, we want to help more people and run great efficient businesses,” Baker says.

“The advice business of the future will need technology to connect with clients.”

Brighter Super has also implemented AI to support the adviser and member experience. Head of advice, Steven O’Donoghue, says the technology has enabled the team to strengthen its adviser and member services by incorporating AI within call centre operations, with further applications being explored.

Steven O’Donoghue

“We recognise that AI aids our team, but also doesn’t replace the invaluable human interactions and personalised support our members value,” O’Donoghue says. “We remain an advice-led fund focused on personal connection.”

AI adoption has primarily been through the introduction of the recently released Microsoft Copilot product, according to Andrew Saikal-Skea, founder of Saikal-Skea Independent Financial Advice.

The firm uses AI to shorten the time it takes to create its Statement of Advice document and using Copilot to create a client-friendly PowerPoint presentations to use in its advice presentation meetings.