The how priority:

Reframing how wealth advice will be delivered

We’re seeing an unprecedented evolution in financial advice in Canada, and those of us in the industry are realizing we’ve spent too long trying to determine what advice to give and when, and not enough time figuring out how we should get that advice into the hands of consumers.

Instead of working to build profit through better platforms, service continua, and long-term value propositions, we’ve been focusing too much on driving existing revenue streams—looking only at channel, brand, cross-sell, account minimums—and adding digital capabilities. This short-sighted approach is now starting to put some pressure on the financial services industry.

To address this problem, Deloitte’s wealth sector is collaborating with stakeholders in all areas of the industry—executives of incumbent institutions, adjacent players, regulators, new entrants, and wealth tech vendors—to transform in meaningful ways the way advice is made available to Canadian investors. As it is, we aren’t doing a good enough job. Changing that is going to be all about the how. Because there isn’t a ready textbook description for how to do this better, and since technological advances are driving the need for novel approaches, we’re aiming with these discussions to unpack the issues and opportunities and to figure out how to best provide advice in future.

To give you a taste of what we’re working on, here are some of the questions we’re tackling:

  • We need to simplify the regulatory framework in Canada and to move away from account and product-oriented frameworks. How will today’s regulators evolve, and what will investor protection look like in the future?
  • A hybrid model of human advisors and digital experiences will become a priority. How will today’s advisors transform themselves to offer this new kind of advice, how will tomorrow’s advisors be trained and compensated, and what kind of technology will be needed to ensure collaboration and consistency?
  • We must stop focusing on cost and improve the resiliency of the incumbent organizations in an environment of lower fees. How will we find the next wave of efficiency for those who have already optimized and added robotic process optimization? What role do utility and ecosystems play?
  • The future of wealth management at large banks is a single platform with an integrated advice-service continuum. How do you take today’s technology, which is built on today’s profit and loss statements, and transform them into tomorrow’s efficient and flexible platforms that make use of new and different income streams?
  • Personalized advice is the most effective way to help the many different audiences access wealth. But how can we provide advice that is tailored to specific groups, meeting their precise needs, while also doing so quickly and in a cost-effective manner?
  • Women are the most underserved segment and the hardest one to get right. How can we do a better job helping women investors? What can we learn from serving women better?
  • It’s our duty to empower the coming generations of investors. Millennials now make up the largest segment of the Canadian labour force, and while most save, only half invest. How will we challenge the paradigms of our industry to spark the interest of millennials and Gen-Zs in investing so that they can continue to drive the economy forward?
  • Financial institutions will need to embed artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies in order to scale advice. How will we regulate increasingly complex algorithms? And how will we use AI to better personalize and preserve the certainty of advice?

These questions are just the start—we’re eager to address any you may have. Are there topics you’d like to see covered? Send them our way, and then watch this space for future blog posts. My colleagues at Deloitte and I have started our journey toward a deeper understanding of how advice must change, and we’ll be sharing our experiences as we navigate changes to the Canadian financial advice industry.

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