Generative AI for asset and wealth management: Thinking beyond use cases

Joe Kennedy

Financial Services Technology Consulting Leader, Greater Boston Area, PwC US


If you’re considering using generative AI in your asset and wealth management business, then my advice is, don’t think about use cases.

Certainly, generative AI (GenAI) can massively improve your operational efficiency. It can, for example, enhance data sharing across your firm and reduce your dependence on offshore resources. It can significantly improve your ability to analyze a client’s portfolio and recommend investments based on their risk tolerance, financial goals, personal circumstances and so on.

GenAI can also gather and analyze data on companies, read and summarize quarterly reports, execute trades, keep records and generate first drafts of tax and regulatory reports. It can work on customer segmentation to help you out on marketing. For wealth managers, GenAI can even answer client questions about the advice your firm is offering. 

Generative AI’s unique ability to scale across every asset and wealth management function is poised to change the whole industry.

It will, among many other changes, enable smaller firms to compete with larger ones in research, sales and technology, because GenAI has the ability to “democratize” coding.

Don’t focus on use cases

Across your firm — from research and analytics, to risk management, operations; investment strategy, compliance, and client service and marketing — GenAI’s applications are endless. However, if you’re starting with this use case or that one, then you’re overlooking what makes GenAI such a big deal. A single GenAI model can help you do all of these things better, more thoroughly and faster than before.

This scalability is why GenAI is poised to change just about every aspect of the AWM industry. Other tech tools may match GenAI’s capabilities for this particular use case or that one. What’s special about GenAI is the fact that one model can often do it all and do it well. Appealingly from a financial point of view, you don’t even need to build this model. You can license a private, pre-trained version of one of the big public models, then secure it and customize it to meet your needs.

Think big

GenAI’s value can be astonishing. But to realize that value, you can’t start by thinking about use cases. GenAI is just too big for that. Instead, look at capabilities like analyzing data, perhaps, or generating reports. Find, for example, every instance in your firm where you’re analyzing data, either for the firm or for clients. Then look at how a GenAI model can help do all of that.

This scalability means that it’s time to start rethinking everything that you do with data, text and code. How will you and your team do all this work and make decisions when everyone has a highly competent AI assistant? What will be the best use of everyone’s extra time once GenAI is doing a big part of your daily routines?

When I talk about GenAI’s scalability and massive ROI, I’m talking from experience. At PwC, we’ve made ourselves “client zero” for GenAI. We’re making a $1 billion investment in it.

We’re upskilling our entire, 75,000 strong workforce to work with it. We’ve built an AI factory to find the highest-value ways to deploy GenAI, then “rinse and repeat” — use the same capability for other tasks too. We’ve already developed and deployed a GenAI conversational assistant that’s fine-tuned with data on tax questions and regulations — and it will soon be fine-tuned to support our other lines of business too.

To take advantage of GenAI at scale in your firm, check out our playbook. It starts with rigorous usage policies, a private version of a public GenAI model and a secure technology environment so you safely embed proprietary data and intellectual property. If you don’t have a secure IT environment, you can use ours for your initial pilots. It includes responsible AI for trust, data governance and security. It covers strategy, an AI factory to achieve scale, workforce transformation and oversight to validate GenAI’s output, manage the risks and continually improve performance. And yes, along the way, you’ll have use cases. But there will be so many, you won’t think of them that way. They’ll just be your new way of working.

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