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Key Findings from our new whitepaper: Applying Artificial Intelligence in UK Wealth Management - an Evolutionary Tale

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by The Wealth Mosaic
| 05/07/2023 12:00:00

As a part of our WealthTech Insight Series (WTIS) and in partnership with Umlaut and IAWMC, last month we published a new research-led whitepaper to assess the current perception and opinion from UK wealth managers on the potential of AI, its future applications and whether it will have a transformative effect in UK wealth management.

We interviewed a number of people at CTO/COO and executive level within UK wealth managers. We aimed to find out how well they understood AI and its potential application, whether it could be a differentiator, whether they were using it or intended to use it, their opinion around implementation considerations and, finally, their future view on what AI and related technologies might do to the shape and nature of the industry.

In summary, people were aware of the possibilities afforded by AI but were yet to find a crystal-clear case use for their business that they could confidently push ahead on. They were more concerned with getting the basics, notably data management, correct. As a consequence of that, there were no current adopters of AI in any real sense.

But the good news is that AI is seen as something that will be adopted and that could be an enabler of current systems and processes. Respondents were most enthusiastic about this in relation to scale, automation, and efficiency, probably as a part of broader Robotic Process Automation (RPA) efforts which are already underway in some firms.

There was also widespread recognition of the role that AI can play in enabling the adviser and providing a boost to service. That could be in terms of pinpointing investment opportunities, prospecting, marketing, onboarding, personalisation, and sentiment analysis, or doing the leg work across a deep data set and presenting the headlines to the adviser in a digestible and actionable form. There are plenty of facets to choose from.

For that to happen though our respondents first wanted to sit back and see the application of AI evolve; to see use cases adding value, to know how best to implement it and where. There is a clear need for the leaders of AI and those vendors pushing it to really highlight what exactly it is, how it can be deployed and what the results might be. For that, the general consensus was that vendors would weave it horizontally through their functions as opposed to the wealth manager applying it as a layer. In this way, the ecosystems approach that is rapidly becoming prevalent would have AI at its core. Going back to basics is what needs to happen first though. There was consensus that without a data warehouse to service all the components of the ecosystem, then efforts would be in vain.

There was also concern that if everyone started to use AI a homogenised effect would be created. This is obviously undesirable in an industry that prides itself on personal service that relies heavily on the individual relationships that people form with each other. With personalisation through the power of data and technology an ongoing theme, the fear is that AI would actually deliver the opposite effect.

All in all, respondents recognise the direction of travel and that those not adopting AI are at risk of being left behind in the technological arms race. Adoption is not in doubt, but the scale, focus, timeline and impact very much remain to be seen!

Access more insight by reading the whitepaper online here


Understanding and Application

  • Respondents highlighted the broad potential applications to their businesses across areas like automation and efficiency, scale and growth, adviser enablement, client experience, cyber and fraud, and more.
  • The industry is very much at the start of the AI journey, but its potential is huge in driving scale, providing efficiencies, and automating certain tasks.
  • Applying AI technology to automate a multitude of processes will support advisers so they can spend more time building relationships with their clients.
  • Some respondents suggested using AI to support asset allocation and allocation changes.
  • AI could support more complex affairs higher up the wealth scale by creating personalised offerings.
  • However, AI poses great risks if it is not properly regulated and the role of the regulator in shaping its application will be important.


  • Respondents disagree on whether AI could lead to differentiation, saying it could instead lead to commoditisation.
  • If used correctly as part of an ecosystem, some respondents believed it could make a firm stand out.
  • Advisers should use AI to improve upon their existing systems instead of creating new ones.

Current and potential uses of AI

  • Respondents generally believe that before they introduce AI to their processes, they need to perfect their foundations.
  • AI is not the sole solution to all challenges, but a complement to advisers and established processes.
  • Fraud and cyber risk were thought to be suitable for AI input.
  • Using AI to automate processes like onboarding will improve client experience and allow for scalability.
  • AI can support advisers in creating personalised investment plans, provide advice around certain investment opportunities and define what optimal asset allocation would look like.
  • To engage clients by leveraging AI, firms can apply AI to curated content and marketing, gathering data and building a community through social media.

Delivery considerations

  • The application of AI without a business framework is pointless. Firms need to define their business strategy, operating models and use cases to make the most of this technology.
  • The main impediment for some firms will be the cost of AI and the challenge to deliver it with limited human and operational resources.
  • Firms are looking for vendors to lead in many areas but also want them to justify the increased cost of services and demonstrate a return on investment.
  • Some respondents expressed concern over the risks of AI and appealed for more governance and control of the technology.
  • Respondents mentioned conflict in deciding whether it would be more beneficial to source this technology from a third party or build it in-house.
  • Wider adoption of AI will create opportunities for new roles to appear and gain importance, such as data scientists and data analysts. Equally, the lack of those skills in the near term is an inhibitor.
  • There are concerns about portfolio construction and the relationship between AI and the market.

Future view

  • There is a consensus on the importance of investing in AI to remain competitive in the current wealth management landscape.
  • Firms that are already working towards implementing AI will be the ‘winners’ and will see their investment reflected in their benefits.
  • AI technology is more than just a fad, it is here to stay.
  • To make the most out of AI, technology needs to be implemented as an enabler, complementing the existing processes, not changing the business.

Read the complete whitepaper online here


Umlaut Solutions
Umlaut Solutions is a leading provider of intelligent document processing, ML and AI-powered data automation solutions, specialising in the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) industry. Having implemented solutions into 500+ wealth management practices, we have a strong ongoing focus on innovation and technological excellence. Umlaut Solutions leverages the latest advancements in AI and ML to help organisations streamline their data processes, improve accuracy, and drive operational efficiency.

Umlaut Solutions’ approach prioritises human-centred design and scalable technology to deliver better outcomes for all stakeholders. By understanding business needs and user requirements, we build solutions that are both technically sound and intuitive. Our solutions are adaptable to changing business needs and designed to continue delivering value as the organisation grows. With a focus on user experience, our solutions contribute to positive business outcomes and position clients for future success. Find out more at

IAWMC is a niche management consulting firm providing services to wealth managers, private banks, family offices, asset managers, software vendors and service providers such as third-party administration firms. We differentiate ourselves from our peers and competitors by providing pragmatic and cost-effective consulting services to our clients by utilising our broad and deep knowledge of the financial services industry in which we operate. Find out more at