UBS Wealth Management has announced the launch of a digital wealth management platform, UBS SmartWealth, in a bid to service mass affluent clients.
The new platform uses proprietary technology and will be made available to a group of customers in the UK from November this year, with a full UK roll-out taking place in early 2017.
Much like incumbent roboadvise services such as Nutmeg and Scalable Capital, UBS’ approach is based on a goals based approach which is in line with the client’s attitude to risk.
The minimum investment requirement for UBS’ digital advice service is £15,000, which is considerably lower than the usual £2m entry requirement for UBS Wealth Management services. This is a markedly different strategy for the bank, which usually targets ultra high net worth individuals (individuals with over £20m in investable assets).
According to Bloomberg, UBS will charge 1.7% on assets for an actively managed portfolio and 1% for a passive strategy, with fees decreasing the more a client invests. The fee structure is notably higher than some of UBS’ roboadvise competitors. However, the majority of digital wealth management services are based upon passive, ETF based strategies. Therefore active management could be a differentiator for UBS in this space.
The new technology underpinning the platform will also be used to service existing clients, simplifying processes such as onboarding, and providing better ways to test attitudes to risk.
Jamie Broderick, Head of UBS Wealth Management UK, said:
“Over recent years, a significant advice gap has developed in the UK, leaving clear space in the market for a product like SmartWealth.
“UBS SmartWealth offers ongoing, interactive, expert and regulated advice on investments and planning for clients’ life goals. We’re bringing the product to a segment of the market that cannot be reached by traditional advisers because it is simply too expensive to do so, which means we can help close the UK’s advice gap. We can then marry that advice with the extensive investment experience and insight that UBS offers to clients all over the world.”