Saxo Bank has moved into the fast-expanding robo-advisory market with a full-scale digital investment platform for retail investors in partnership with BlackRock.
SaxoSelect, built with iShares ETFs by BlackRock, is a fully digital and automated portfolio management service that enables clients to invest in pre-selected strategies in a real-time, fully transparent environment directly on their Saxo platform.
The service consists of three portfolios with different levels of risk - Defensive, Moderate, Aggressive - managed by Saxo Bank and using research data developed by BlackRock. Available initially in euro and sterling, the automated ETF portfolio will launch in selected European markets, starting with Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, Netherlands and Sweden in Q1 2016.
Kim Fournais, Saxo Bank's chief executive officer, says: "This initiative is underpinned by the belief that technology will profoundly change the asset management industry. Access to technology, demand for transparency, and focus on performance will change the way individuals manage their savings. By combining our leadership in trading technology with BlackRock's investment tools, we are shaping the future of how people invest."
Saxo is only the latest bank to pile into the market, sensing an opportunity to cut costs and take on a new generation of wealth management firms such as Wealthfront, Betterment, Personal Capital, and FutureAdvisor who are already luring away clients with the promise of no-frills, low cost, advisory services.
The industry has also attracted the attention of regulators - the Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities - EBA, EIOPA and Esma - in December opened up a debate about the risks and benefits of robo-advisors, inviting comment on its discussion paper.