The financial services industry is undergoing a significant transformation in the way that advisory services are provided and delivered. For this reason, key figures of the German and Swiss Fin- & InsurTech ecosystem met on Thursday, 5th July 2018, at Allianz Global Investors in Munich to debate on the upcoming changes in wealth management. Central to the discussions were the technological advances in robo advisors. Due to their user-friendliness and cost-efficiency digital consultants have the potential to significantly reshape the role of wealth managers. In the beginning Andreas Gensch, co-founder of treefin and member of the InsurTech Hub Munich, welcomed the audience and emphasized the role of the ITHM as the epicenter of digital insurance business.
As first keynote speaker Thorsten Heymann (Global Head of Strategy at Allianz Global Investors) compared the expected change in asset management brought about by digitalization with a killer wave, which will affect the full value chain immensely. For him, artificial intelligence will generate significant value, particularly in the area of automated advice and big data. Further the founder of the FinTech Innovation Lab and professor at the University of Zurich, Prof. Thomas Puschmann, shared his vision on how wealth management will look like in 2025. He named decentralization, hybridization and substitution as major trends within the financial industries. In his view the “Internet of Services” will soon be replaced by a so called “Internet of Value”, where individuals and organizations will be able to constantly transfer value without intermediaries.
The following startup presentations were the perfect format to give actual proof to the theoretical outlinings of both key notes. Martin Stadler (founder of Altoo AG), Christian Ropel (founder of WeAdvise AG), Felix Röscheisen (executive manager of Werthstein GmbH) and Kai Kuljurgis (founder of Coinsafe) each gave a six minute pitch on their start-up. In doing so the exiting range of robo advisory − as financial home, B2B or B2C application as well as in the field of crypto currencies – was revealed.
The official part of the event concluded with a panel discussion by Thorsten Heymann and Christian Ropel, who were joined by Carsten Maybach (investment director at ALSTIN II GmbH), Wolfgang Strobe (Board member Hauck & Aufhäuser). While the complexity of portfolio management was identified as general threat for robo advisors, all panelists highlighted the need for cost-efficient digital advice and the high disruption potential of AI for wealth management. In the end there was even within this tech-savvy environment a general consensus, that no technological innovation is able to replace a human in terms of building up trust within customer relationships.