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Kiwi Wealth gets first robo green light

Kiwi Wealth says it expects its roboadvice services to complement those provided by human advisers.

Friday, May 11th 2018, 3:00PM

by Susan Edmunds

It has become the first financial services provider in the country to be approved by the Financial Markets Authority to deliver personalised digital financial advice.

Joe Bishop, Kiwi Wealth general manager customer, product and innovation, said he expected to see a large increase in the number of people looking for financial advice.

Many would start online, he said, with personalised digital advice. Some would then go on to seek human advisers.  By that point, much of the basic work of financial advice would be done and the adviser could focus on the relationship and conversation with the client and adding value.

"People expect both and providers will need to provide both."

The process of applying for the exemption had been a good collaboration with the FMA, he said.

A reasonable amount of detail about the proposed processes was required, he said.

Kiwi Wealth has spent the past three years developing its advice platform for its Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver members, with its digital tool Future You.

“Now we can hit the go button and start to add functionality to Future You to transform it into a personalised online financial adviser.”

The upcoming Future You robo-advice release scheduled for June will give members of the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme personalised advice on which investment fund in the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme would best suit them based on their retirement income goal. The feature will be released to an initial group of members to obtain feedback, before being released to all eligible members.

“That might seem a fairly straight-forward piece of advice but it’s advice that, under current legislation, could only be given by an authorised financial adviser – a human,” Bishop said.

He said further releases were planned over the next few months, with Kiwi Wealth planning to extend its roboadvice offering to provide holistic retirement planning advice that took  into account other assets and managing contributions to members’ Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme accounts in line with their retirement income goals and their financial situation.

It was a big step for financial advice in New Zealand but a relatively small one in the development of Future You, he said.

Tags: kiwi wealth roboadvice

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