One sector that's starting to see major tech-related disruption is financials. Consulting firm A.T. Kearny thinks that robo-advisors will have $2 trillion in assets under management by 2020, while big data and cloud computing is making it easier for companies to target new customers.
A new crop of tech companies is operating in the financial space, but at least one old stalwart has a bright future, thanks to tech. Charles Schwab, the 45-year-old San Francisco-based brokerage and banking firm, has always been an innovative business — it was early to the internet banking game in the 1990s — and it's embraced robo-advice in a big way.
"Schwab has always been deeply rooted in tech, and robo-advice platforms are an emerging business focus," said Devin Ryan, a managing director at JMP Securities.
At the moment, Schwab's Intelligent Portfolios platform — the name it's given to its robo-advice offerings — has about $5 billion in assets under management, a small number compared to its $2 trillion in AUM overall. However, that will grow significantly over the next decade, said Ryan. He thinks it could reach $100 billion if not more by 2026.
Beyond robo-advice, the company is also building out big data and analytics capabilities, which will allow it to better understand customers, create products it knows its clients will want, and improve its messaging to potential account holders. It's using tech to automate internal tasks that were previously done manually, too.