| NEW YORK, March 30
NEW YORK, March 30 Financial advisers across
Wall Street's biggest brokerages have fretted over their
professional futures in recent years as their firms worked to
develop "robo" services for millennial and tech-savvy clients.
But a new study by consulting firm Accenture finds that
clients across all ages and economic brackets want robots and
humans together, not one instead of the other.
The findings follow news on Tuesday that BlackRock Inc
, the world's biggest money manager, was laying off some
portfolio managers in favor of spending more on data-mining
techniques that could improve investment performance.
Conversely, the popular direct-to-consumer robo adviser
Betterment said in January that it was adding a service where
clients can get advice from a person.
"The market is not mature yet in terms of the robo
experience," said Kendra Thompson, global head of Accenture's
wealth management division and the author of the study.
However, the market is changing so rapidly that study
respondents said online tools they considered to be "bells and
whistles two years ago" are now expected, Thompson said.
"If you're an exec you need to be ... ensuring that you're
keeping pace with what investors want," Thompson said.
The study surveyed 1,300 investors, most of whom are
considered high net worth, emerging wealthy and mass affluent.
Five percent of respondents were ultra-wealthy.
Overall, respondents ranked hybrid wealth management firms
higher than other options because they offered low-cost access
to robo advisers along with a human's expertise for more complex
(Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)