New wealth firm looks to AI to enhance client experience

News Team, 13/10/2020

A new wealth management firm co-founded by an alumnus of HSBC and St James’s Place has opened in London.

City Wharf Private Wealth (CWPW), set up by Elemi and Ashlea Atigolo, will be the UK’s first wealth manager to use an enterprise-grade artificial intelligence (AI) chat assistant to provide 24/7 support to clients, its founders said.

“We believe that technology and AI can, and should be used to help firms and their clients effectively engage and communicate with each other,” Mr Atigolo said.

“Through this pandemic we have seen the importance of getting answers to customers quickly in order to reassure them, the need to make communication more smarter and digital and the importance of being able to add value despite what is going on within the world.”

Elemi and Ashlea Atigolo

The founders had also built a secure client portal allowing for online video advice sessions, chat communication, electronic document signing and a single point of access for all client documentation.

Mr Atigolo was a wealth manager for HSBC between 2005 and 2012, before moving to St James’s Place for six years. He then founded, among other fintech firms, Buildily, a platform which helps start-ups build their businesses.

Ms Atigolo has a career spanning over 15 years of operational and change management at director level and expertise within both finance and sustainability.

Mr Atigolo said CWPW, an appointed representative of St James’s Place, would aim to change the wealth sector through “innovation, technology, inclusivity, and interpretation”.

He said while robo-advisors were gaining traction to some extent, most subsequently added some form of human advice to their platforms.

“I believe that is because individuals still require and seek reassurance from human interaction. This is seen even more throughout this pandemic where people want to virtually see and engage with their adviser more often,” Mr Atigolo said.

He said he wanted to create a wealth manager that was a “true reflection of society”.

“We believe that wealth is not just defined by money, but by the value of one's relationships, family, lifestyle, and the legacy they leave behind,” he said.

Mr Atigolo believed the next generation of wealth holders would have much higher expectations when it came to their wealth manager, both in terms of technology and sustainability offerings.

“We want to provide a modern wealth management firm that primarily caters to individuals who seek face-to-face expert advice with the convenience of modern digital services, combined with access to an institutional investment approach.

“This new generation live more eco-consciously and therefore they want to invest their money into environmental, social and corporate governance concerned businesses. This shift will undoubtedly bring major changes to how firms engage with their clients and what their responsible investment offerings are too.”