How effectively can you plan for fintech developments?

By 12 July 2023 No Comments

“Nine Lies about Work: a Free Thinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World” by M. Buckingham and A. Goodall, which demystifies lies that are commonly-believed in the workplace, continues to inspire my thinking. This month, I want to focus on lie number 2: “the best plan always wins”. Plans can be beautiful – especially if things go according to the said plan. They provide comfort and a sense of mission. You start off with a plan at the beginning of the year and once that is shared with the company, it’s split into departmental goals that then trickle down to every member of the organisation. Everything is set for the year.

Except that sometimes it’s not. The more detailed your plan is, the longer it takes to put into action, and in a fast-moving world, it may transpire that what you had in mind when you made a plan, is no longer relevant by the time you are ready to implement it. Thus, the truth is that plans help us, force us to think and reflect, keep us on track but at the end of the day it’s intelligence that always wins. To remain competitive and agile you need to know when to change and re-evaluate your plan.

So, if we’re talking about the world moving too fast for plans to matter, then we have to be talking about fintech: the unprecedented developments in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). As a modern company, the threats and opportunities of these developments cannot be ignored nor can they be scheduled into your yearly plan. Take for example ChatGPT, the newest chatbot from OpenAI,  currently the fastest growing app of all time reaching 100 million users in two months. The exponential rate of growth provides a tiny glimmer into how things will be different going forward.

Can AI replace your team?

Alex Hormozi, the Founder of  instructed his team to replace themselves with nine AI tools in a week (you can watch the YouTube clip below). The sales, marketing, HR, training, recruitment, and operations teams were all part of the challenge. The sales team implemented two AI tools to increase show-up rates for meetings, sending personalised videos of themselves using AI, and writing email follow-ups more effectively. They also used AI tools to create personalised video greetings, saving time and missed calls.

The content team used three different tools to produce 250 pieces of content every week. They also added audio versions of emails and tweets, allowing prospects to consume their content more efficiently. They duplicated Alex’s voice to record books and blog posts. Every blog post has an AI generated audio version. The team can now record and edit content in seconds, replacing themselves with tools like for image editing and video editing. This tool can remove background sound and background noise from audio for any type of video in seconds. They used Descript, an AI tool for editing videos, which searches the transcripts without having to search through clips. This allowed the team to focus on packaging the video, sound, or music to evoke an emotion, potentially increasing its views.

Training and onboarding new employees can be expensive and time-consuming. offers AI-generated onboarding videos that can be updated as things change, eliminating the need for human labour. AI-based education and technology can increase productivity per worker saving time and making the person receiving training more educated faster.

To recruit top talent Alex’s HR team used AI to create personalised outreach by taking notes on interviews and timestamps. This saved recruiters 10 to 15 minutes per call per day.

Additionally, AI was used to attend internal meetings and take notes on the participants, saving time and reducing the need for executives to sit in on meetings. This approach lead to more productive people in the business.

AI has revolutionised the way the business operates, allowing for more productive interviews and increased productivity. The operations team started using AI to attend internal meetings and take notes, saving time and reducing the need for minute takers and minutes taking ages to be produced and distributed. The Ops team used AI to reclaim calendars in real-time, maximising output and minimising email clutter.

Alex believes that AI can do most of the work that humans do. He thinks that AI can be used to make better decisions than humans. AI has been used to make his business more efficient and more profitable. So, if you are not taking AI seriously it’s time to consider how best to use it to take your business to the next level.

Lessons from Octopus

This is not just a US phenomenon, the CEO of Octopus Energy, a UK-based household energy supplier, reported AI is doing the work of 250 people at his company. Writing in The Times of London, Greg Jackson said Octopus Energy experimented with AI for several months before incorporating the technology into company systems. Staff began letting AI respond to some customer emails initially in February 2023. Now, AI replies to more than a third of customer emails, which is the work of about 250 people according to Jackson. Jackson continued: “Emails written by AI delivered 80% customer satisfaction — comfortably better than the 65% achieved by skilled, trained people.” At Octopus Energy the team supervises the email responses AI provides before sending them on.

Financial Planning and AI integration

Michael Alexander, president of wealth management at global fintech company Broadridge Financial Solutions, has said that “in the fallout from the pandemic, wealth firms are going to face increased pressures to invest in modernising their advisor technology or risk losing their advisors to firms that already have next-generation wealth platforms.” In the field of financial planning, AI algorithms could analyse vast amounts of data to assist in making informed decisions regarding investments, taxes, and insurance. Similarly, Scott Reddel, who leads the North American wealth management practice at consulting firm Accenture, urges financial planning firms not to take their foot off the pedal. He adds that to overcome adoption speedbumps firms must continue commitments and focused applications which deliver business value whilst maintaining collaboration across business lines.

According to a study by Accenture, of the 500 licensed financial advisors studied in the United States and Canada, 98% believe that AI is transforming how advice is created for, delivered to, and consumed by clients. 97% have said that AI can help grow their book of business organically by more than 20%. In addition, 83% of advisors believe AI will have a direct, measurable, and consistent impact on the client-advisor relationship by early 2024. They also believe that within the next 18 months, “AI can achieve a level of sophisticated advice and planning that will ultimately leave financial advisors competing with an algorithm for clients.”

The integration of AI algorithms holds great potential to upgrade financial planning services. The potential for these algorithms to make real-time adjustments to financial plans, automate updates based on changing legislation and reduce the risk of errors and fraudulent activities means financial advisors will be able to focus on providing personalised advice to their clients, which is already happening (see AIFINTECH100). The growth in AI will serve to expand the software’s analytical and predictive capabilities. This is augmented by AI’s deep learning capabilities, which will relieve advisors and their teams from having to perform much of the rote or mundane monitoring and administrative tasks instead allowing them to focus on higher-value activities that require their unique skills and expertise. For example, an AI-based system could be set-up to monitor client portfolios and send a signal to the advisor when allocations fall outside of certain parameters.

For this potential to be realised, financial advisors will need to stay informed and educated about the latest advancements and developments in AI and blockchain technology to make any necessary updates to their processes to stay ahead of the curve. With the effective adoption of AI algorithms, financial advisors will have time to focus on improving client relationships and providing a niche service based on their unique skill sets.

🔴 That being said, within financial services the storage and processing of sensitive information is critical. As organisations, you are liable for the ethical and security considerations and therefore must ensure that the AI algorithms and solutions you have in place (or are planning on using) are continually backed-up, updated, security checked and comply with the relevant rules and regulations. 🔴

According to a Deloitte report successful early adopters are taking a strategic approach to AI, focusing on how AI can generate revenue and improve customer engagement, and then acquiring a portfolio of AI tools to support these business enhancements.

Robots vs. humans

Cutting-edge technology is set to revolutionise what has long remained a largely unchanged profession: financial advisory. The introduction of new technologies has for years sparked a human vs. technology debate. In March, Goldman Sachs reported that generative AI tools like ChatGPT could affect around 300 million jobs globally. It is undeniable that AI will automate mundane administrative tasks and lots more across most business areas, yet the human element remains critical (or does it?).

Research reveals that human touch is proportionately linked to client trust. The financial advisors who understand the human behind the client and use technology to enhance their service will continue to be in high demand. 

We must remember that AI in its infancy: “we are only scratching the surface of the potential that AI has for the industry,” says Katherine Wetmur, Morgan Stanley’s international chief information officer. Although ChatGPT, or other natural language processing technologies, currently cannot provide personalised financial advice, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to in the near future. Thus, as a firm in the financial planning space it’s vital to find a niche and use existing technology to enhance your user experience to ensure the client trust lasts long into the future.

AI has polarised the world experts with some, including Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak, calling for cutting edge AI research and development to pause stating in an open letter that AI poses “profound risks to society and humanity” and therefore needs to be regulated.  Other experts like Alex Hormozi and Greg Jackson are embracing AI wholeheartedly.

What is your AI strategy? After all, it isn’t the best laid plan, but intelligence that always wins, so make the most of it!

Replacing yourself with AI by Alex Hormonzi?

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