Investment platform AJ Bell is to appoint a new CTO amid a big automation push.

The Salford firm said it will use Blue Prism’s robotic process automation software to carry out many of its labour-intensive and administration functions.

It said this will reduce the risk of error, enhance the service customers receive and improve productivity, while ensuring compliance with regulations where necessary.

AJ Bell is expanding its IT function as part of its continuing growth, with current expansion plans including the recruitment of 15 new roles in addition to the new CTO role.

The CTO will join AJ Bell’s executive management board, lead the development of the company’s technology strategy and assume responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the IT function.

The company's Salford Quays HQ currently houses 650 staff.

“Robotics is a fascinating area that has the potential to automate processes that are important to ensure we deliver the right service to our customers but are currently quite labour-intensive,” said  AJ Bell chief financial officer Michael Summersgill.

“With the introduction of connected-RPA technology, we can get these tasks done quicker and with a reduced risk of error.

“Blue Prism’s digital workers will be a great addition to our business, but it is important to understand that this is not about reducing staff numbers.

“The continued growth of our platform business means that we will need to continue to grow our workforce, in fact we are continually investing in our IT department and we are currently looking for a CTO to come in and lead the team through its next phase of growth.”

Established in 1995, AJ Bell is one of the largest investment platforms in the UK with assets under administration of £44 billion and 204,000 customers.