UBS closes SmartWealth robo-advisor, sells tech to SigFig

UBS closes SmartWealth robo-advisor, sells tech to SigFig

Little more than a year after launch, UBS is shutting down its SmartWealth digital wealth management platform for non-super rich Brits and selling off the technology to US robo-advisor SigFig.

A message on the SmartWeath site says that the service, which officially launched in March 2017, is closed to new customers.

Although existing customers can still log in, UBS says in a statement that, while it is "satisfied" with the commercial progress of the service, "at this time we believe the near-term potential is limited and have therefore decided to close our digital-only offering in the UK".

SmartWealth aimed to take advantage of technological advances to bring wealth management service to a "new group of clients", requiring a minimum investment of just £15,000.

The system uses proprietary technology to provides regulated and real-time advice online. It recommends a suitable investment strategy based on a client’s individual financial situation relative to their attitude to risk and an understanding of their life stage, assets and goals.

The technology is now being sold to SigFig, which UBS invested in in 2016 as part of a wider partnership which saw the two create a joint advisor technology research and innovation lab, where UBS financial advisors, product experts and technologists could work with SigFig’s digital experts.

Says the statement: "We are confident that SigFig is best placed to accelerate and broaden the commercial prospects of the IP behind UBS SmartWealth.

"We believe the decision serves the best interests of the business and will allow us to invest further in other client-facing improvements, whilst sharing in the future success of the IP we have created via our equity holding and ongoing partnership with SigFig."

Financial News reports that this month SmartWealth co-head Shane Williams quit to become head of client technology at AQR Capital Management.

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