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Trends in the hybrid advice market

​What is hybrid advice?

Hybrid advice combines components of traditional human-based financial advice and self-service digital advice, offering a flexible and tailored wealth management solution to clients of all demographics.

The digital aspects are used to fulfil parts of the client journey via a self-service approach e.g. for general KYC/AML activities, fact finds and data validation. The human element is introduced with advisers coming in to address complex financial needs and complete the client journey – human intervention can be low, medium, or high touch.

Target market

The hybrid advice model could be used to bridge the advice gap of which there are 13.2 million people (c. £840bn – Source: Boring Money 2022 Advice Report) in the UK as of 2022.

There is also an opportunity across the entire market more generally as firms look to use hybrid journeys to seek cost efficiencies and improved client experience.

Below we outline the differences between hybrid and traditional advice.

Hybrid advice vs traditional advice

From a cost perspective, compared to traditional advice, a hybrid advice offering would enable lower cost propositions to be developed and offered at scale, with advisors able to serve a greater a number of clients. This would ultimately lead to a lower cost to serve given the reduced human interaction required for parts of the client journey. Offering cheaper advice could also attract more cost-sensitive clients, helping to bridge the advice gap and increase firms’ AUM.

Additionally, a hybrid advice model allows for existing clients to be managed and ongoing services delivered more effectively and makes onboarding new clients cost effective with automated KYC solutions being integrated into the journey.

Self-service brings convenience via guided journeys that clients can complete at their own pace, rather than traditionally having to schedule a series of meetings with an adviser. Clients who prefer the human touch still can do so in a hybrid model, particularly for clients with sophisticated financial needs.

Conclusion

We have had close to a decade of hype around fully digital models but firms are now moving on and increasing technology investment in digitising client journeys to support a hybrid models, in part driven by changes to practice forced by the pandemic.

Fully digital models are difficult to achieve given the breadth of clients firms will take on, ranging from simple ISAs to clients with multiple workplace pensions and complicated trust structures. Hybrid advice models will enable most straightforward parts of a clients’ journey to be digital but allows for more human interaction for more complex client scenarios.

Clients have not bought into the fully digital model at scale, but we believe hybrid is a solution to that challenge. Attractive aspects of hybrid for clients include:

  • Ability for clients to self-serve in their own time at their own pace for part of their journeys
  • Enables lower costs and for advisers to focus on the crucial points of the journey
  • Evolution of technology to support advice journeys e.g. automated KYC solutions, production of suitability reports and automated fund recommendations
  • Use of remote meetings from the pandemic has been carried forward

Future blogs in this series will explore topics including methods to use digital tools to deliver a hybrid advice process.

Our thinking