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Morgan Stanley OpenAI-based assistant to be rolled out for wealth advisors

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Morgan Stanley is taking its adoption of artificial intelligence a step further with a new assistant that is expected to take over thousands of hours of work for the bank’s financial advisors.

The assistant, called Debrief, keeps detailed logs of advisor meetings and automatically creates draft emails and summaries of discussions, bank executives told CNBC. Morgan Stanley plans to offer the program to the firm’s approximately 15,000 advisors by early July, marking one of the largest milestones ever for the use of generative AI at a major Wall Street bank .

While the company’s previous efforts involved creating a ChatGPT-like service to help advisors navigate the company’s vast searches, Debrief puts AI in direct contact with advisors’ most valuable resource : their relationships with wealthy clients.

The program, built using OpenAI’s GPT-4, essentially sits in on client Zoom meetings, replacing the note-taking that advisors or junior staffers used to do by hand, according to Jeff McMillan, head of firm-wide artificial intelligence at Morgan Stanley.

“What we’re seeing is that the quality and depth of the ratings is just significantly better,” McMillan told CNBC. “The truth is that it makes note-taking better than the average human.”

Consent required

It is important to note that clients must consent to being recorded each time the debriefing is used. Future versions will allow advisors to use the program on company devices during in-person meetings, McMillan said.

The deployment will serve as a real-world test for the much-vaunted productivity gains of generative AI, which has taken Wall Street by storm in recent months and boosted the value of chipmakers, tech giants and the U.S. stock market in its entirety.

Morgan Stanley’s wealth management division hosts about 1 million Zoom calls per year, the bank told CNBC. Although estimates vary, a Morgan Stanley advisor involved in the debriefing pilot said the program saved 30 minutes of work per meeting; Advisors typically spend time after meetings creating notes and action plans to meet client needs.

Morgan Stanley’s new Debrief program, a new AI tool for wealth management advisors based on OpenAI’s GPT-4.

Courtesy: Morgan Stanley

“As a financial advisor, I do four, five or six meetings a day,” said Don Whitehead, a Houston-based advisor who is testing the software. By “integrating the note-taking service via AI, you can really invest yourself in the meeting, you are actually much more present”.

It remains to be seen what advisors will do with the hours thus recovered on basic tasks. In a sense, Morgan Stanley’s plans for generative AI are a “great productivity experiment,” McMillan said.

If, as McMillan and others believe, advisors spend more time serving their clients and prospecting new ones, the technology should drive growth in Morgan Stanley’s assets under management, as well as client and client retention. advisors.

Morgan Stanley’s wealth management division is one of the largest in the world, with $5.5 trillion in client assets as of March; the company wants to reach $10 trillion.

It will take at least a year to determine whether the technology improves advisor productivity, McMillan said.

“I’m an analytics guy, but advisors will tell you they’re at their best when they’re interacting” with clients, McMillan said. “None of them will tell you they like taking notes or looking at research papers, right? That’s not why they got into this profession.”

The broader vision

Ultimately, Morgan Stanley’s vision for AI is to create a layer of technology that helps advisors seamlessly complete all their tasks – sending proposals, balancing portfolios, creating reports – with prompts simple, Jed Finn, Morgan Stanley’s head of wealth management, told investors in February.

Many of the core tasks that need to be automated, such as contract analysis and account opening, are universal across Morgan Stanley, including across the trading and banking divisions, McMillan noted.

Finance jobs are among the most likely to be eliminated by AI, according to a recent study. Citi Group report. AI adoption could increase industry profits by $170 billion by 2028, Citigroup said.

Although the process is still in its infancy, McMillan acknowledges that business models will likely evolve in ways that are difficult to predict.

“I think there will be some disruption in some areas,” he said. “We look back on everything we think we are losing, but we don’t see what lies ahead.”

What lies ahead is the need for millions of engineers to rapidly train AI to create the desired outcomes for businesses, McMillan said; it took Morgan Stanley months to refine the prompts for the debriefing, he noted.

McMillan said he even told his teenage children to consider a career in engineering fast.

“They’re going to learn how to talk to machines, tell them what to do, interact with people and collaborate,” he said. “It’s a completely different game than how we work.”

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