Robo-advisers on the march

David Rowley

By

26/11/2015

BT Financial is testing ambitious robo-advice software that will assess areas of inefficiency across an individual’s superannuation, insurance, investments, mortgages and banking.

The Wealth Review will be offered free to all customers and will be sent out in targeted campaigns to specific age groups in the coming months.

The program works by requesting information from customers and then compiling a report which identifies areas most in need of improvement.

Such areas are determined by the wealth aspirations the individual puts into the program. The desirability of action is reinforced by a comparison the individual receives showing the saving rates and investment styles of people of the same age, salary or location.

The software, which has been developed from Avantek technology, also gives individuals tools to carry out scenario testing.

BT Financial describes the tool as serving a triage process that will point individuals towards specialist advice from BT representatives trained in areas such as superannuation, mortgages or general investment.

The first cohort to be sent the Wealth Review will be those aged 35–45 years.

In a further development for robo-advice, Clover.com.au has appointed Dr Jack Gray as head of its investment committee.

Gray will be responsible for the composition of Clover’s investment portfolios and for maintaining its approved products list.

The goals-based robo-advice investment service is to launch to the public by mid 2016.

Dr Gray has experience as a senior executive at US fund manager GMO and as chief investment officer of Sunsuper. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) attached to the Paul Woolley Centre for the Study of Capital Market Dysfunctionality, as well as a director and special advisor at Brookvine, a boutique asset manager and fund distributor.

Harry Chemay, chief executive of Clover.com.au, said it was important to have internal capability to prudently and professionally manage client funds.

“We aim to be a managed discretionary account operator, and to manage individual client portfolios within the MDA framework imposed by ASIC. It is thus crucial that we have highly competent individuals with institutional asset management experience in the key investment roles,” he said.