Practical analysis for investment professionals
12 April 2016

From Robo-Conflict to Robo-Collaboration: Approaches for Wealth Managers

“Most of the people in this room,” Michael Kitces joked, “will not be replaced by robots.”

Kitces, who is a partner and director of research at Pinnacle Advisory Group, was speaking to an audience of financial professionals at the 2016 CFA Institute Wealth Management Conference, and his presentation addressed the current challenges faced by advisers who serve private clients.

Although some media narratives have framed technological advances as a “robo-adviser” threat for practitioners to overcome, the reality is that the forces changing private wealth management can be harnessed to deliver value more efficiently to a larger number of clients. Kitces spent his time at the podium emphasizing how these technological advances can be a good thing for advisers, providing new opportunities to focus on the most important aspects of the service that they provide, leaving behind tedious and repetitive functions that can be cheaply replaced by automation.

Other sessions at the conference had a similar emphasis on cooperation, instead of competition, for advisers looking to improve their practice. Josh Brown — the CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management who also runs a blog as The Reformed Broker — discussed how public collaboration between wealth management professionals can further their own knowledge and demonstrate their expertise to clients. According to Brown, most of his firm’s clients and even some of its staff found the firm through its social media presence.

During her session, Carolyn McClanahan, founder of Life Planning Partners, highlighted the best ways to collaborate with clients to develop wealth management plans that can meet their healthcare needs. Depending on their behaviors and spending attitudes, clients may have radically different life expectancies and care expenses. By working with them to gain a better understanding of their habits, advisers will have an easier time building an investment portfolio to meet their clients’ lifestyle needs.

The conference also included in-depth discussions of investment topics. Michael Finke, professor and Director of Retirement Planning and Living at Texas Tech University, explored how retirees spend money through retirement . And Sandra Carlisle, head of responsible investment at London-based Newton Investment Management, discussed how the analysis of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues can identify and avoid risks that would negatively impact investment return.

For more conference insights, you can review the social media highlights below:

If you liked this post, don’t forget to subscribe to the Enterprising Investor.


All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Jonathan Woodcock

About the Author(s)
Peter M.J. Gross

Peter M.J. Gross is an online content specialist for CFA Institute, where he has managed blogs for the CFA Institute Annual Conference, European Investment Conference, and Middle East Investment Conference. Previously, he worked at Hampton Roads Publishing Company and at MFS Investment Management. Mr. Gross' articles have been published by Enterprising Investor, City A.M., Seeking Alpha, and The Hook. His work has also been highlighted by Real Clear Markets and the World Economic Forum. Mr. Gross holds a BA degree from Connecticut College.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close