RPA in Wealth Management: Promise and Peril

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3 December 2019

Key research questions

  • How is RPA adoption progressing among wealth management firms?
  • Why is RPA implementation challenging for firms?
  • How should firms successfully scale RPA?


Significant excitement around RPA has firms addressing strategic support toward adopting the technology. The benefits of this adoption are poised to be substantial and have created an environment where automation is headlining firms’ technology priorities. Firms achieving this adoption now have a technological advancement in their corner that can fight the onslaught of operational headwinds. Areas for RPA adoption are vast and have many wealth management firms pressing to see if RPA is the right solution for them.

With RPA becoming more mainstream, the realization is that it does not always achieve the level of automation firms desire. Firms need to be asking if RPA is the right solution for their desired level of automation. It may just be a supporting tool to help transition them to full-scale automation. Before embracing RPA, firms need to carefully consider the pitfalls that transpire from implementation, governance, and scalability challenges.

Understanding RPA benefits and application builds the firm’s in-house muscle for future, more cogitative RPA solutions, i.e., intelligent automation enabled by ML and AI. These efforts break down barriers to address the heart of real transformation; end-to-end automation. RPA 3.0 is challenging to accomplish, but the rewards are what the excitement of RPA currently is about. The ROI of one bot can be very appealing but the ROI of a workforce of bots is what firms need to be cost-effective.

Firms achieving automation will succeed to outpace firms that continue to operate as-is. With the market investing billions of dollars into RPA vendors, it is vital to unpack the technology’s value. Applied effectively, RPA is a handy tool within a firm’s strategic automation initiative. Intelligent automation is the fuel that will drive operational efficiency.