UBS launches ’robo’ wealth manager

By Sam Shaw

Added 11th October 2016

UBS is entering the robo-advice space as it prepares to bring a digital wealth management proposition to market next month in a bid to attract younger clients.

UBS launches ’robo’ wealth manager

Launching on 21 November to a select group of customers with full roll-out in early 2017, UBS SmartWealth will use a series of simple questions to arrive at a recommended portfolio of investments.

Using proprietary technology to build portfolio of both active and passive strategies led by UBS’s chief investment office, fees will be 1% on pure passive basis, with 1.7% charged on a portfolio of actively managed funds.

Minimum investment will be £15,000 ($18,596, €16,647), compared with the £2m threshold usually required to engage UBS private banking services.

The platform will offer regulated and real-time investment advice through the online platform, based on the user’s individual financial situation, taking into account their attitude to risk, life stage, assets and goals.

UBS said performance would be checked on an ongoing basis with regular updates provided against their goals, with suggested possible actions that will help clients stick to their plan.

The world’s largest private bank said the new technology would also enable UBS to better service existing clients, streamlining processes such as opening new accounts and testing attitudes to risk.

Dirk Klee, chief operating officer of UBS Wealth Management, said: “UBS SmartWealth is a strategically important move for UBS. It enables us to bring our advice and expertise to a much wider audience, at first in the UK, but in time in other geographies too.

“Technology is changing the way financial services are delivered. The launch of UBS SmartWealth shows that digital innovation is not the sole reserve of start-ups. Large market-leading institutions have the resources to research, test and build transformative new products and services.

“This launch is an example of how we can blend the best of UBS with the best of start-up thinking and agility, meaning clients can access new innovations alongside the insight of worldwide investment and wealth planning experts.

Jamie Broderick, head of UBS Wealth Management UK, added that the UK was the perfect market in which to launch SmartWealth.

He said: “The UK has developed a reputation for technology-led innovation in financial services. Regulation in the UK is progressive and has established support for new innovations. And over recent years, a significant advice gap has developed in the UK, leaving clear space in the market for a product like SmartWealth.”

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