UBS taps Broadridge for its big advisor tech upgrade
UBS is turning to outside talent for its next big technology project, mirroring a path it took in order to develop a robo advisor solution.
The firm is partnering with Broadridge Financial Solutions to revamp its advisor tech platform for its U.S. wealth management business. It’s a potentially huge, multiyear undertaking that UBS expects to lead to higher advisor productivity.
“This is a chance to redesign core systems, some of which go back to PaineWebber,” says Tom Naratil, president of UBS Wealth Management Americas, referring to a predecessor firm of UBS’s wealth business in the U.S. UBS bought PaineWebber in 2000.
The deal will bring UBS advisors a new desktop and upgraded toolset, which will include performance reporting, managed accounts support and new abilities to handle multicurrency functions, among other features. The changes are expected to give advisors a smoother interface and give the firm greater scale and efficiency.
“This is something we have been in search of for a couple of years,” Naratil says. “We think it will do a lot to enhance the financial profile of our business and allow us to do the things we do well.”
But it’s not just advisors who will benefit from the new features; client service associates can expect to see improvements in the tools they use every day, the firms said.
“When you make a CSA more productive, you make the advisor more productive,” says Tim Gokey, president of Broadridge.
UBS has been exploring options for updating its advisor desktop since 2016, Naratil says. Going with an outside tech provider allows UBS to focus on providing financial advice to wealthy clients, Naratil says.
“I am never going to reinvent as fast as my advisors need. But by engaging with an industry utility, we can be on the leading edge,” the longtime UBS executive says.
That’s also the same approach the firm took to developing a digital advice platform. The firm invested in Silicon Valley tech developer SigFig, which subsequently helped develop UBS’s robo solution.
“Tech is not about a build. It’s about a continuing investment,” Naratil explains.
Broadridge hopes to develop more such partnerships. The New York-based firm specializes in investor communications and providing technology to banks, broker-dealers and asset managers.
“Everyone’s solutions will be a little different, which is why it is open and customizable,” Gokey says.
Gokey is set to take over as Broadridge CEO in January.