- On April 25, 2018
UBS has rolled out its robo advisor, UBS Advice Advantage. While we can’t confirm, we don’t think UBS chose this name to imply to clients that robo advice is an advantage over advisor advice. That’s another 10 years away.
UBS will roll out their digital platform through their Wealth Advice Center. Customers with $10,000 can invest, receive UBS research, portfolio analytics, diagnostics, and goal tracking. Clients pay an annual fee and just 50 to 75 basis points, and UBS is even throwing in access to a human advisor with every purchase.
Developing a robo advisor platform was one of the first moves Tom Naratil, President Americas, made when he took over. He hired SifFig as their fintech partner and here we are two years later with UBS boasting both human and robo advisor options to clients.
While Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Merrill Lynch all have robo advisor platforms in place, UBS seems to have closely mimicked the Merrill Edge strategy.
Rich Steinmeier, head of Digital Strategy and Platforms at UBS Wealth Management USA released a statement explaining the purpose of UBS entering digital advice. One line especially got our attention. UBS “saw an opportunity to enhance the advisor-client relationship” as the reasoning for digital advice supported by a call center of digital advisors. Really?
But read closer and you realize UBS (like Merrill Edge) wants to enhance the client relationship with their digital advisors, not UBS wealth manager advisors. Their Wealth Advisor Center has inexpensive salary based advisors who are interchangeable. This is the kind of advisor-client relationship that is in line with the Swiss banking model and Swissness strategy.
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