UBS Warburg has commissioned Boston's Artificial Life to develop intelligent software services for a new channel aimed at the 'mass affluent' - people too wealthy to be satisfied with retail banking services but not rich enough to be attractive to private banks.
Under the agreement, Artificial Life is to develop a range of financial planning tools for risk profiling, asset allocation and portfolio optimisation based on its ALife-PortfolioManager product.
"We are planning to launch an attractive and unique new offering that will satisfy the needs of our target clients," says Bill Johnson, head of UBS Warburg e-services. "Artificial Life is helping us develop the site so that it will be more sophisticated, powerful, and truly responsive to client needs."
"In order to be successful in the future, banks need to offer more than just transactions and information over the Internet, they will need to provide sophisticated tools that offer customised, comprehensive and enhanced services to their customers, anytime/anywhere," says Manuel Ebner, head of strategy and business development for Artificial Life and head of the company's Swiss operations. "The tools we are developing in cooperation with UBS Warburg will be able to fulfill these requirements."
Investors interact in natural language with ALife-PortfolioManager through an intelligent agent interface. The application helps users screen securities and investment products based on their preferences. In addition, the application automatically gathers and filters relevant news from the Internet.
Financial institutions can customise the application to incorporate their proprietary risk models and provide clients with 24-hour assistance to manage their portfolios
UBS Warburg is in the process of establishing a new pan-European multi-channel e-services initiative targeted at individuals in the asset class segment between traditional private banking and mass-market retail banking. The initiative centres around marketing an array of investment services, including products from third-party providers, linked with high-calibre investment advice, financial planning and asset allocation. The new service is scheduled for operational rollout in Germany in the autumn 2000.