UBS has announced that it is partnering with a robo-adviser tech startup. The firm's U.S. wealth-management business has teamed up with San Francisco-based company SigFig.
Business Insider reported that the company will soon be receiving "digital tools" from the tech startup which will be used by UBS's 7,000 financial advisers. Robo-advisers utilize software to make investment-allocation decisions. The Swiss bank has also been confirmed as a direct investor of SigFig.
"We saw it as a great opportunity to marry the best technology that we thought the robo-advisers made - which is something we didn't think we could replicate ourselves - with the strength that we really have from our end, which is the quality and the depth and the longevity of the relationships that we have with our clients," UBS Americas president Tom Naratil said. "Across UBS, globally, we certainly are focused on technology and making significant investments in technology to improve productivity."
Apparently, this could just be one of the many tech investments for UBS. The Wall Street firm is said to be interested in partnering with other tech startups. However, they are not looking to be investing in any more robo-advisers as of the moment.
According to WSJ, UBS began discussions with several tech startups in Silicon Valley last year. The meetings included UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti, UBS Americas chairman Robert McCann, Mr. Naratil as well as other UBS executives.
UBS has declined to reveal the specific details on its SigFig investment. The tech startup is also still able to work with other wealth-management firms, which would benefit UBS.
"While other firms have chosen to build capabilities internally or buy technology companies outright, we consciously chose to partner with the right technology firm, and only take a minority stake to ensure they maintain management control to allow them to do what they do best," Naratil added. "Our partnership also allows us to focus on what we do best, develop and maintain client relationships centered on meeting their wealth-management needs."