By redirecting focus, wealth managers can successfully respond to challenges brought on by digital disruption, demographic shifts, and tighter regulation. Wealth managers have seen their fair share of ups and downs in recent years, and while challenges remain, advisers can drive business and growth by paying attention to demographic segmentation, how investors are using technology, and changes in regulation. In this episode of the McKinsey Podcast, Simon London first speaks with PriceMetrix chief customer officer Patrick Kennedy and McKinsey partner Jill Zucker about the North American wealth-management industry; he follows that with a discussion with senior partner Joe Ngai, on the industry in China. Simon London: Welcome to the McKinsey Podcast with me, Simon London. Today, we're going to be talking about financial advice and the people who provide it: financial advisers, or as they're sometimes known, wealth managers. Wealth management is a very big business--and also a business facing a number of challenges, such as new technology, changing demographics, and tighter regulation in a lot of countries. A little later, we're going to be getting a perspective on China. But we're going to start here in North America. For the first part of the conversation, I'm joined on the line by Jill Zucker, a McKinsey partner based in New York, and Patrick Kennedy, who's based in Toronto. Pat is chief customer officer for PriceMetrix, which provides data and analytics to the wealth-management industry.
In the world of constant innovation disruptive technologies have become an intrinsic part of strategic and management consulting, causing all leading consulting companies to focus on developing new offerings, in order to keep up with an ever-growing client need. In addition to financial services and the most recent blockchain and cryptocurrency hype, disruptive technologies can be applied to almost every industry. This includes anything from data protection and storage to better pattern recognition that can be used to allow businesses to work more efficiently and deliver a higher level of service to their clients. Artificial intelligence is said to be one of the biggest disruptors on the market. AI is present in our surroundings on a daily basis; examples include Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant that are now present in a large number of homes worldwide.
These include H20.ai - an open source machine learning One; Active.ai - a conversational AI platform used by over five large Ms. Patwardhan shared her perspective from her past experiences in Facial recognition is the face of future for video banking. Not in the database yet was the verdict! Ms. Patwardhan highlighted that biometrics and digital identity can "One rolls its eyes cutely while greeting customers and the other "Has anyone watched Black Mirror?" she asked. "AI will continue to grow and have many positive
At the end of June and beginning of July, I attended Viva Tech's international summit in Paris. Although the event was centred around Fintech and Insurtech, there were humanoid robots, flying drones, VR play stations… One could learn about the latest trends in retail and hospitality, media and medical industries, smart cities… But, the key idea of the organisers was to physically bring together top companies, investors and startups to boost innovation. There was a series of open innovation challenges designed to hack strategic business problems… In one word, a paradise for a guy like me! I learned a lot, met so many interesting people and interviewed some. One of them was David Kenny, General Manager of IBM Watson tasked to build Watson into "artificial intelligence as a service".
Bitcoin and blockchain entered the consumer lexicon in a media frenzy that saw it hit $19,000 USD per coin (albeit for only 20 minutes) and led thousands of new hopefuls to Google'what is bitcoin and how will it make me rich?' And the WannaCry cyberattack saw consumers' cherished photos and documents held to ransom, crippling Britain's NHS and reminding everyone that cybersecurity isn't just for big corporations or spy agencies. With all of that in mind, along with Niels Bohr's observation that prediction is very difficult (especially about the future), here are our six predictions about how these key themes -- AI and Machine Learning (ML), IoT, security, blockchain -- are likely to begin to make a real difference in the way all of us interact with technology in 2018… Ever tried to use Siri offline? Suddenly, your knowledgeable little friend becomes rather dumb. In 2017, AI fed consumers content on Facebook or Netflix while assistants such as Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant identified what song was playing or what the weather would be like tomorrow.