Algo Mechanics and Customer Service Wizards – the Broker Jobs of the Future

A new report by HSBC has serious implications for the retail and institutional trading industries

This Monday, HSBC, a multinational bank and financial services company, released a report that it claims provides insights into the future of job functions within the banking industry.

Although the banking world is not identical to the institutional or retail trading industries, the report contains information that is just as pertinent to brokers, operating on either a retail or institutional level. Significantly, HSBC described a number of new jobs that it claims will become a vital part of the future financial services industry. Just how ‘new’ these jobs actually are is debatable.

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For instance, the bank noted that ‘algorithm mechanics’ and ‘conversational interface designers’ are going to be two new roles in the future. These jobs already exist to some degree, even if they lack the spruced up, corporate-jargon names that HSBC has given them. Nonetheless, these two job functions should also be of import to the trading industry in the future.

According to HSBC, an algorithm mechanic will fine tune the computer algorithms that automate processes such as risk management and customer experience.

Jobs of the future

For brokers, retail or institutional, such a job function is already important and, if HSBC’s report is anything to go by, its importance will only increase. To take just one example, know-your-customer (KYC) regulation is likely to be automated, but the regulation itself could be changed at any moment.

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Those changes would have to be reflected in the algorithm automating a firm’s KYC process. It would certainly fall to an algorithm mechanic to make such changes and ensure the company does not have to make a wholesale change in their KYC technology.

Institutional firms would appear to already see this as something they need to prepare for. A survey released last week, and also undertaken by HSBC, indicates that 59 percent of treasurers and 65 percent would like to develop their team’s knowledge of digitalization.

Perhaps more important from the perspective of the retail broker industry is the conversational interface designer role that HSBC described in its report. This role is customer focused with the individual performing it developing text and voice chatbots.

For an industry, as saturated as the retail market, this skill will be vital. As Artur Azizov, CEO of B2Broker told Finance Magnates in a recent interview; brokers are distinguishing themselves based on “differences in servicing customers because their liquidity and technological products are very similar.”

If that situation remains, and there are not any strong indications that it won’t, brokers will increasingly have to define themselves by their strong customer service. If they wish to do that, then they will have to rely on the job function described by HSBC, even if they don’t have such a grandiose job title.

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