I started work in Financial Services in 1978, going straight into IFA facing roles (or 'Broker' facing as we called them then) immediately.
Since then, I have never known a time when competition from Providers going direct to clients hasn't been a concern for financial advisers. There were also many years when advisers were concerned that accountants would dominate the financial advice world, yet neither has come to pass.
Both Providers and accountants have had their chance to dominate the advice space, but they've never really got a foothold.
From my discussions with financial advisers and from posts in the LifeTalk forums, I'm not yet convinced that advisers don't see Robo-advice as a threat. There is still widespread misunderstanding about what it is, but more importantly there are a lot of heads buried in the sand choosing to block out the possibility that people would ever use such a service.
Nick Eatock at Intelliflo is quite right to say that advisers should embrace technology rather than fear it, but I have real concerns that a great many advisers have simply dismissed Robo technology out of hand because they don't believe it has, or will ever have a part to play in the advice or financial planning process. I know this for a fact because many high profile advisers have told me as such.
In my view, that's a dangerous position to take, and will inevitably cause real problems for financial advice businesses adopting this view in due course.
Advisers have switched from being worried about the threat of robo-advice to having concerns large providers are trying to sell direct to their clients, according to a poll by technology firm Intelliflo.