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Robo roundtable: Restricted advice like buying an ill-fitting suit

Three leaders of robo advice firms discuss whether they offer advice, and offer their opinions on the advice vs guidance distinction, in the first of our series of videos.

The leaders of online investment firms raised concerns over the value of restricted advice in the first of our series of videos from a roundtable discussion.

The distinction between advice and guidance was also a hot topic for our panellists, as it has been at the heart of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Financial Advice Market Review.

Indeed, the very name 'robo-advice' proved very unsatisfactory to the business heads, given only some online firms offer regulated advice while many do not.

New Model Adviser® sat down with the heads of three robo firms, or 'digital wealth managers'.

  • Adam French, chief executive, Scalable Capital
  • Johann Bornman, director of product, ETFmatic
  • Giovanni Dapra, chief executive, Moneyfarm 

In this first episode, the three business leaders discussed their worries about the current definitions of advice, particularity between independent and restricted offerings.

As French said, restricted advice can be suitable but not the best possible deal for a client, 'like walking into a Mercedes Benz garage and asking them for advice on what car you should get' or 'walking out of the store wearing a suit, but it might not be a suit that looks good on you.' 

The panel discussed  how to secure the best outcome for clients, and how these definitions apply to their own business models.

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