The future of advice: Where to from here?

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of BT Panorama. As we approach this milestone, it’s not only a time for celebration and reflection but also a moment to consider the future for wealth management platforms in the years to come.

The past decade has been one of transformation within the wealth management industry, marked by regulatory shifts, technological advancements, and evolving investor preferences.

Our industry is always evolving, and we continue to embrace the future, striving to shape the next decade of financial advice, and empowering advisers to enable quality financial advice to thrive.

Evolving from BT Wrap

The genesis of BT Panorama traces back to the beginning of the millennium when BT led technological innovation in the advice industry, with the introduction of the wrap platform concept. Recognising the need to adapt to the changing landscape of financial advice to meet the growing needs of advisers and their clients, we embarked on a strategic journey of self-disruption, resulting in the birth of BT Panorama. From this point on, through BT Panorama, we have been creating better futures by empowering more Australians to achieve their financial goals. ​

Today, our platform demonstrates our commitment to empowering advisers with a comprehensive suite of solutions, including a diverse product menu, dedicated sales support, an intuitive user experience, and transparent pricing. We are continually focused on creating efficiencies for advisers through improved reporting and functionality, an extensive range of managed account solutions and exceptional customer service and support.


What do the next 10 years hold?

Wealth management platforms of the future need to develop to better cater to the needs of their clients. We see this playing out in three key ways:

  • The need for greater transparency;
  • The need to adapt to suit the changing needs of the population; and
  • The need to deliver an increase in managed accounts and artificial intelligence (AI) support tools to improve efficiencies for advisers and organisations.

In an era characterised by a need for continuous access to information, transparency is increasingly important to clients. Clients demand visibility into underlying investments and access to market research, particularly in areas such as sustainability.

As caretakers of accurate information, we are dedicated to giving advisers and clients the best research tools and educational resources. This helps them make smart investment choices despite the flood of online content – when they want, and how they want to consume it. We are proud to have been recognised by Investment Trends for having the leading mobile app in the industry, for five out of the past 10 years. The BT Panorama app gives advisers and clients 24/​7 access to their portfolio information, with in-depth performance and asset allocation reporting and comprehensive cash transaction reporting.

We also need to ensure our services and products serve our ageing population – Australians are living longer and quality financial advice will help them plan for a secure future. Added to this is the expected increasing demand for financial advice resulting from the upcoming intergenerational wealth transfer, with $6 trillion expected to transfer between 2020 and 2050.1

While younger generations, in particular, are interested in investments that take into consideration ESG (environment, service and governance) factors, we are seeing an increasing number of ESG-focused options on wealth platforms, to cater to changing client demand.

Looking ahead, to help advice businesses become more efficient and grow, the next decade will likely see more use of managed accounts. We anticipate more advisers will realise the benefits of using managed accounts, like time savings: 63 per cent of advisers surveyed have said that managed accounts help them save 17.1 hours on average in a typical work week.2

BT Panorama has a broad portfolio of more than 400 managed portfolios3, yet despite some advisers taking this option up, there is still more room to grow as the benefits of managed accounts become better known. According to Investment Trends, 38 per cent of advisers have yet to integrated managed accounts into their practice, and around 19 per cent are considering doing so in the next 12 months or so.4

Finally, we anticipate a steady integration of AI into the financial services sector, as it becomes more commonplace. We expect to see this particularly supporting efficiencies in the customer service space, to enable organisations to respond to advisers and their clients more quickly and with an enhanced experience.

BT’s virtual assistant, Blue, is an intent recognition chatbot which uses machine learning, a subset of the broader category of AI, to help improve its understanding of human questions. From 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023, Blue had 110,000 conversation sessions with BT Panorama advisers and clients. As technology develops and is easily integrated, we will see enhanced tools – like Blue – help respond to adviser queries directly and become a valuable support to customer service centres, as well as helping further enhance operational efficiency, and data security across wealth management platforms.

Customer service giving the competitive edge

Another trend we have seen over the last decade is the rise of smartphones as a source of information. Consumers increasingly prefer to interact with financial services providers through their mobiles, according to the Roy Morgan ‘Satisfaction with Banking Channels Report 2022’. Client’s log into the BT Panorama app twice as often as on a desktop computer. They also expect information on the status of financial transactions or service requests to be accessible instantaneously.

However, in the moments that matter, we are seeing that many clients and their advisers still value and expect the human touch and a more personalised service experience. What financial advice professionals and their clients expect is seamless customer support, across all channels. Getting the balance right with making the most of technology, while considering the importance of human connection, is vital to the future of platforms.

At BT, our approach is people-led, tech-enabled. We continue to invest in technology, while maintaining our service team’s high standards on response and turnaround times. One example of where we have chosen to invest in digital tools is our service request tracker, a key functionality available 24/7 that gives advisers and clients real-time updates on the status of their requests such as applications, deposits and contributions, rollovers, and transfers.

We developed the service request tracker because a large percentage of phone calls we received from both advisers and their clients were status queries. The enhancement has allowed our teams to focus on more complex queries, or those that are more sensitive and require the human touch. Looking forward, we plan to expand the functionality of the service tracker, and think this is a space that the whole industry will continue to invest in.

Harnessing technology for tomorrow

As technological landscapes evolve, so too must wealth management platforms adapt to meet the evolving needs of advisers and clients.

For a decade, BT Panorama has focused on the adviser experience, evolving into one of Australia’s leading platforms, and the only one backed by Australia’s first bank.

As we look to the next 10 years, we remain dedicated to supporting the industry. We will strive to innovate and empower advisers like never before and ensure that we continue to help enable quality financial advice to thrive.

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Information current as at 13 June 2024. This information was prepared by BT, a part of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 233714 (‘Westpac’). This information does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or need and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to these factors, before acting on it. This information provided is factual only and does not constitute financial product advice. Before acting on it you should seek independent advice about its appropriate to your and your clients’ objectives, financial situation and needs. Apart from any interest investors may have in Westpac term deposits, Westpac securities, the BT CMA or the BT CMA Saver acquired through the Panorama operating system, an investment acquired using the Panorama operating system is not an investment in, deposit with or any other liability of Westpac or any other company in the Westpac Group. These investments are subject to investment risk, including possible delays in repayment of withdrawal proceeds and loss of income and principal invested.  Westpac and its related entities do not stand behind or otherwise guarantee the capital value or investment performance of any investments acquired through the Panorama operating system. This communication has been prepared for use by advisers only.  It must not be made available to any client and any information in it must not be communicated to any client. This document provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relief upon as such.