Exclusive: FIS Focuses On AI’s Wealth Management Role

Amanda Cheesley Deputy Editor 14 May 2024

Exclusive: FIS Focuses On AI’s Wealth Management Role

Russell Andrews, head of wealth and asset management EMEA, capital markets at Florida-headquartered Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), discusses with this news service how wealth management will evolve in 2024.

With 2024 set to be another tough year for the industry, given the macroeconomic environment, and with investors shifting their cash into alternative assets, Russell Andrews at FIS, which develops financial technology, recently highlighted the increasing role artificial intelligence (AI) will play in wealth management.

Andrews emphasised how AI will supercharge the client-advisor relationship and why firms that invest in forward-thinking strategies will be the most successful.

Benefits of AI range from automating repetitive tasks, providing data-driven advice in specific areas such as portfolio optimisation, risk management and tax analysis.

Andrews believes that the focus will be on using technology to modernise investors' experience. “The better the experience, the more clients will pay for it,” Andrews told this news service in an interview. “AI will have a big role to play, as there is only so much humans can do.” But he noted that the human touch will always to be needed in wealth management, saying that AI cannot replace humans, just help them to deliver better outcomes. He thinks that human advice from wealth managers is here to stay. This was also highlighted by Annabelle Bryde, managing director and head of UK Private Bank and Crown Dependencies at Barclays Private Bank.

“There is also currently not the right data in wealth management to achieve the goals. Without having the right data, AI cannot achieve its objectives,” he said.

However, Andrews emphasised how wealth management firms are more serious this year about creating a data strategy. “Systems are starting to age and there is a big drive in wealth management to look at the technology stack. The cost of labour is also rising, squeezing wealth managers' margins, and they are looking at how to get their margins on target,” Andrews said. “The macroeconomic environment is also challenging, with high interest rates, and elections are coming up.” 

In view of this, Andrews believes that AI will play an increasing role in the future to help wealth managers achieve their goals. But he thinks that there is still a long way to go, as the right data is needed, and it will take time. “There will be some big shifts in wealth management in the next one to two years, with more consolidation in the market. It’s an exciting market to be in,” he concluded.

Andrews was previously at BNY Mellon before joining FIS, a US multinational, which works with world banks and private equity firms to help them move money and innovate for their customers. See more commentary here and here about the role of AI in wealth management.  

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