Skip to main content
February 01, 2024

What promises will AI deliver to Wealth Management in 2024?

Roger Portnoy


Reading time: 5 min


I thought for my first AI piece for this new year, I would try to provide some insight and perspective on the potential impact that is likely to emerge in 2024. Of course, the impact the industry will actually experience will be heavily skewed toward the capabilities and resources that the largest organizations will bring to bear, but given the absolute objective of Microsoft, Salesforce, and others to deploy co-pilot and commercial support solutions to both the enterprise and SME segments, my expectation is that direct and embedded usage will be significantly higher.

Having perused some of the broader aspects of the AI co-pilot and virtual assistance space, it will be in these two areas that the largest impact will be seen. I believe in the past year organizations spent a lot of time getting to grips with the core data management challenges that need to first be addressed to leverage AI, esp. in relation to value extraction from unstructured content sets like email and the vast array of knowledge repositories, and thus, what we will start to see this year, especially from those who have already built the required classifiers, data extraction capabilities, and the computer vision techniques to properly understand document structure, will be a new set of tools that can potentially transform, if supported by the proper behavioural queues, and nudges, not only the efficiency of financial and investment advisors, but more importantly their productivity.

In particular, I am growing optimistic that 2024 could prove to be year that many advisors finally see their lives as data, account, and transactional administrators undergo a significant decline clearing the way for not only better qualified and timely advisory and decision support services, but also an opportunity for firms to significantly boost their abilities to grow their practice through both more client on-boarding, as well as a broader planning and investment capability.

In the world that I witnessed before AI, delivering these benefits was somewhat accomplished when firms were able to build unified digital workflows across different areas of their value chain to support frictionless collaboration, but success in this endeavour proved elusive because it often required too much change management, as well as too much reliance on middleware systems to facilitate the correct translation of data between disparate systems, and business logic.

My intuition and early experience is that the way that co-pilot and VA approaches using natural language techniques are evolving are going to offer a far superior way to not only support the unification necessary, but will additionally be far more able to properly leverage all of the resources that firms have at their disposal to identify tasks, create activities and initiate the most optimal approach toward orchestrating the individual and collaborative routines needed to achieve the right client outcomes.

The early missteps that LLM providers made, and the caution that is now prevalent when it comes to hallucinations, fake information, and the implications for “wrong action” will probably not fully go away this year, but from what I am seeing in terms of the ability to new AI tools to transcribe, translate, summarize, infer, and distil, it is quite clear that if advisors properly incorporate these capabilities to leverage all their different forms of communications that we will see

  • Some profound changes in the entire on-boarding experience. There has already been a marked accelerate in the efficiency of on-boarding new clients through the use of embedded API design, but when firms began to process all channels of correspondence properly through the different attributes of the new AI tool sets, one will see advisors become far more efficient at completing rich fact finds, identifying opportunities via held away assets, and marrying more sophisticated clients with new types of diversified portfolio options.


  • Significant reduction in the friction that exists today when it comes to promptly executing more complex operations that require identifying eligible assets, coordinating in species and cash transfers, and carrying out different types of consolidation activities necessary for optimal retirement planning and estate management. The AI tools emerging in the co-pilot and virtual assistant space, used properly, have the ability to reduce communication roadblocks between counterparties, reconciliation challenges that persist in legacy policy systems, and the time delays between different functions that need to both coordinate and execute the required operations compliantly.


  • Very different productivity levels in relation to new proposals, mandatory review, health checks and other key interactions in the wealth management process emerge between those who are properly leaning on the new tools within their overall advisory practice and those who continue to rely on the “old school” approach. I have seen in the past 5yrs that systems in the industry have become much better at packaging the necessary documents, orchestrating the right e-signing approach, and leveraging standardized workflows to transmit and process instructions, so many are already starting from a good position, but this can be much more effectively personalized, enriched from a decision support perspective, and collaboratively enabled (directly with the client) with the tools that are emerging in the VA and co-pilot areas. This will be particularly powerful for knowledge led organisations that will be able to link AI systems into their portfolio management and client management capabilities so that next best actions are properly supported by well distilled, summarized, and personalized recommendations.

There has been a lot of chatter in the broader industry about much of what I have mentioned, esp. since the summer of 2023, but I don’t think firms had yet advanced the connection between the data sets that really lend themselves to improving the overall advice process, as well as enable greater efficiency and productivity throughout the wealth management process. My feeling is that during 2024 this is going to change, and for those that get it right, will start to translate into the improvements in the income/cost ratios that have been promised via “unified digital platforms”, but have failed to be delivered.

My prognosis suggests that, while the macro and regulatory change pictures in 2023 very much subdued the impact of AI solutions, and probably translated into more disappointment, and caution that is by no means yet gone, I will “stick” my neck out a bit and suggest that this year will prove the start of a “breakthrough” for AI in the wealth management industry, and represent the beginning of a positive valuation adjustment for those firms that not only embed the AI tooling within all of the key areas of their practice, but build monetary incentives, and change management programs so that the promise this time, gets tangibly delivered.