MDRT finds financial advisors quick to adopt generative AI – Insurance News



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As generative AI changes the face of the workplace, financial advisors are adopting the revolutionary technology rapidly, with 8 out of 10 advisors surveyed by MDRT saying they use it for at least one professional purpose.

Male advisors (85.9%) and advisors ages 18-44 (90.2%) are more likely to leverage generative AI than female advisors (72%) and advisors ages 45 and older (71.8%). Similarly, 94.3% of American advisors have at least heard of generative AI, and 64.3% of them say they know how it works.

Putting generative AI to work

When it comes to how these programs are used in financial services practices, most American financial advisors and insurance agents (72.6%) have at least some knowledge of how they can leverage AI in their practices. Among the 82.5% of advisors who leverage generative AI for at least one professional purpose, employee onboarding (46.5%), processing employee and/or client data (41.4%) and client communications (40.4%) were the most popular uses.

Advisors who are using generative AI in their practices are still relatively new to the tools. 50.2% of advisors who are actively using generative AI have been using it for fewer than three months. On the other hand, even advisors who are not making use of generative AI in their day-to-day businesses are interested in learning more about it. Among the advisors who do not currently use generative AI for any professional purposes, 50% of them said they are at least somewhat likely to learn about how they can use it.

A majority of American advisors (73.5%) have at least some trust in generative AI programs for financial-services practices. Male advisors (81.6%) and advisors ages 18-44 (78.9%) are more likely to have at least some trust than female advisors (55.1%) and advisors 45 and older (68%).

“In the midst of such a digital era, it is important for financial-services professionals to be at the top of our game when it comes to technological advancements,” says MDRT President, Greg Gagne. “Learning to work with generative AI programs will differentiate advisors who will continue growing with the current trends and those who may struggle to play catch up.”

Generative AI can be a beneficial tool to help professionals around the world with countless processes. It is important for financial services professionals to take advantage of their resources and use them as steppingstones for growth. By tapping into their digital capabilities and making use of generative AI programs, financial advisors and insurance agents will be in a great position to continue serving their clients, while simultaneously staying on top of developments, the survey said.

Why such a huge interest in generative AI?

So, why are so many financial professionals showing such a keen interest in generative AI? “AI is taking over so many industries right now, but the financial-services sector is particularly ripe for this tool, explained MDRT Tim Clairmont, founder and CEO of Clear Financial Partners.

“The amount of knowledge that a comprehensive financial advisor has to keep up to date on is massive. We need to know taxes, investments, insurance contracts, real estate, accounting, and so much more. As an industry, we have leaned hard on the internet to keep current on changes, and generative AI feels like an extension of the internet’s capabilities. Now, we don’t just get the information from a Google Search. We ask the AI to search for the information and produce a draft of the deliverable we were working on. It’s just one step further, but it saves us so much time,” he said.

The benefits gained by generative AI are many and varied. According to Clairmont, one of them is saving time. “The generative AI is like another employee,” he added. But it can also make us better communicators. The financial-services knowledge that advisors have may be vast, but many advisors are more skilled at communicating with certain personalities than with others. Some advisors even specialize in working with a particular industry or demographic, or a unique group of people.

“Generative AI gives us all the ability to adapt our communications to better connect with very specific groups of people whom we may have otherwise struggled to relate with. Just ask generative AI to create a message geared toward a specific audience, and you can suddenly learn how to speak in a way that the audience will better understand,” he said.

AI can also help in writing job ads and interview questions, evaluating interviewee responses, creating a training schedule, and identifying key learning objectives. “The limits are only those of the imagination,” Clairmont said.

The online survey was fielded by G&S Business Communications on behalf of MDRT from October 12 to October 18, 2023, with a sample of 617 U.S. financial services and insurance professionals. The survey sample was balanced to reflect the gender demographics of the financial-services profession.

 

Ayo Mseka has more than 30 years of experience reporting on the financial services industry. She formerly served as editor-in-chief of NAIFA’s Advisor Today magazine. Contact her at [email protected]

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