Asia-Pacific respondents, however, said peer-to-peer lending (29%) rather than robo-advisers (25%) will have the biggest impact in one year.
Opinions in Asia showed a sharp difference from those in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. Nearly 40% of respondents in North and South America believe robo-advisers will have the highest signficiance in one year.
The survey polled 775 CFA members globally in February, with 56% from the Americas, 27% from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and 17% from Asia-Pacific.
Big firms go robo
Large market players have been adopting fintech tools, according to reports. Earlier this week, UBS’s Americas wealth unit bought a stake in robo-adviser Sigfig Wealth Management to develop new wealth management tools.
Morgan Stanley and Bank of America are developing their own technologies, while Fidelity is testing a robo-adviser on its clients. Blackrock acquired a robo-adviser, Future Advisor, last August. Deutsche Bank introduced a robo adviser service in its online investment platform in December.
In the CFA survey report, about 70% of global respondents said engagement with human advisors for institutional investors and ultra-high net worth individuals will not be affected by the emergence of automated financial advice tools because these investors demand complex and tailored advice.
Instead, the majority said mass affluent investors and high net worth individuals will be positively affected by automated financial advice tools in the form of reduced costs, improved access to advice, and improved product choices.
Globally, 54% said asset management will be most affected by the emergence of automated financial advice tools, followed by banking (16%) and securities (12%).