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The value of human advice in a digital world

24 November 2021 Liberty Group

Bongani Khulu, Senior Executive at the Liberty Group, shares why digitisation is driving the future advice model

The value of human advice has a digital dimension
It is not a controversial thing to say that the future of advice is digital using all the best advantages offered by emerging technologies which are continuing to evolve at an astonishing pace.

This means we are in an age where clients are expecting a lot more from us in terms of what we offer both in the practical quality of advice and the way we use technology to create efficiencies to make their lives better through embracing digital tools. In doing this we need to find harmony between the digital and the human dimensions of these interactions. Clients have a lot of choice, they know what they want, and we need to offer cutting edge service and advice that allows confident decision making.

Financial planning is about two commodities, the value of advice, which is the critical commodity, and the commodity of time which is a form of efficiency. To build trust, both these elements need to be a key part of the relationship building process.

Our decisions are based on creating a brighter future, part of this is a goals-based approach to deliver on the outcomes that we set out in our philosophy.

Liberty’s advice philosophy
At the core of what we do at Liberty is our advice philosophy which places the customer at the centre of what we do, empowering them through the delivery of a human, living and outcomes-oriented experience. In the first instance it must be human, in making the connection with clients we must be aware of the humanity in what we do. Secondly our advice must be living. The living part speaks to the journey we want to take with our clients, but also, the advice that we give must navigate our clients through their lives in a way that makes a significant difference. And finally, our advice must deliver the desired outcomes. When we speak about the desired outcomes, it is what clients have asked for at the beginning of the process.

Ultimately with the smart enablement that we have been building, partnered with the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce and other global tech players, the resulting outcome will be a collective “human experience” delivered through the relevant channels, underpinned by a modern, digital, human augmented platform, supported by personalised client solutions.

Artificial Intelligence and big data are driving Liberty’s value of advice.
Using artificial intelligence and big data has a number of advantages if used correctly. It improves responsiveness, optimises client engagement, and improves the client experience so that it is more focused on individual needs. Human augmentation is still attractive to the client as it provides both personal and balanced advice – balanced in terms of time and digital engagement. In terms of adviser productivity, it provides the commodity of time because of its efficiencies. At this level adoption is critical to help build an advice culture which helps financial advisers win.

Quick Polls


There are countless articles written about South Africa’s poor retirement outcomes. Which of the following would you single out as the biggest contributor to local savers not accumulating enough to buy an adequate and sustainable pension?


Lack of personal accountability
Poor participation in formal retirement funds
Reluctance to seek financial advice early on
SA’s high unemployment rate
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