The investment management community, including executives and thought leaders, gathered at the University Club in Chicago for the Investment Adviser Association’s annual Midwest Leadership Forum held on September 27th. Members from SS&C Advent attended, with Al Castillo, Vice President, Solutions Management, moderating a panel on AI entitled, Greeting the AI Era: Implications for Leadership and Talent Management.
The agenda contained timely topics that stimulated no shortage of thought-provoking conversations throughout the day.
Greeting the AI Era
The promise of AI has been on full display in 2023. ChatGPT, Bard, and other AI solutions quickly swept through the news cycle and amazed or piqued the interest of anyone willing to listen. As with any new technological advancement, many unanswered questions and concerns exist. In fact, with today’s job market and financial industry, there are many predictions and thoughts on the expected outcome.
At the forum, only two attendees raised their hands when asked how many firms in the room currently utilize AI in their day-to-day operations. This response sharply contrasted with the number of firms interested in learning more about implementing an AI strategy. The AI conversation is clearly ongoing as interest to learn and implement is strong.
Top concerns and conversations related to harnessing the power of AI to strengthen and optimize firms’ operations revolved around the following topics:
- Privacy: The ability to license AI tools to use their model more securely to incorporate private business information.
- Security: The threat of a security breach, as is possible with most technological processes and platforms.
- Accuracy: Implementing a “co-pilot” approach, ensuring that there is a human double-checking AI output, looking for accuracy in information, and removing bias.
Aside from these challenges, the opportunity for firms is only growing as AI technology progresses.
Steering into the Future
There are more RIA’s now than ever, exponentially increasing over the last decade and continuing to grow. However, with this increase, firms in attendance agreed that they are all doing more for their clients for the same amount of money compared to a few years ago.
The increase in new competition and technologies has made the investment landscape an extremely competitive space for firms to be successful. Investors are actively pursuing more complex and personalized strategies.
Utilizing the following strategies, firms can provide a more simplified and straightforward approach to complex problem solving for their clients:
- Scaling their omnichannel communication strategy by making answers and solutions available to end-clients on their website when possible.
- Prioritizing seamless communication by deciding internally on a cadence regarding which channels to use to avoid delay or confusion.
While servicing and attracting new clients has challenges, the overall sentiment was that building and attracting new talent was a greater challenge.
Start with Culture
Attendees unanimously agreed that to attract and maintain new talent successfully, firms must start by ensuring their culture is in the right place. This, along with providing transparency and a distinct career plan, will help firms face the evolving challenge of talent acquisition and retention.
Many firms have implemented more hybrid and remote working styles, visiting college campuses for recruitment and ensuring that new hires are appropriately developed, and feel included in the decision-making process.
For firms to be set up for success, bridging the workstyles of different generations is paramount and takes a mentality shift along with careful balance.
As firms are confronted with a dynamic landscape, there are exciting ways to optimize operations to focus on your core competencies. SS&C Advent Managed Services provides an essential service for our clients as they focus on incorporating emerging technologies, talent management, and optimal services.