Robo-advice here to stay

Despite a series of closures throughout the industry, the future is still bright for robo-advisers, says an industry expert.

GlobalData wealth management analyst Sergel Woldemichael said that despite the recent sale of UBS’s SmartWealth platform, the robo-adviser industry still has a future.

“This latest closure is not the end for automated service: robo has the future, and UBS provides lessons to learn,” said Mr Woldemichael.

He said that the robo-advice field is appealing to the mass market and offering competitive prices. 

“Setting fees at up to 1.8 per cent, while most UK robo-advisers charge less than 1 per cent, did not help SmartWealth to attract price-sensitive retail investors either,” Mr Woldemichael said.

The market is on the rise but the industry may just be ahead of its time and will need to wait for the next generation to take off, he said.

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“While robo-advice is here to stay, it will take time to cement itself. The digitally-savvy next generation will embrace an automated service and big banks should capitalise on this,” Mr Woldemichael said.

The way to succeed in the field was to offer competitive prices that could compete with the low cost of many smaller firms, he said.

“A big brand is not enough to justify much higher fees. To succeed, incumbents will have to provide a level of service, and prices, that are genuinely competitive with those offered by start-ups,” Mr Woldemichael said.

Robo-advice here to stay
robo-advice, robo-adviser, digital, technology
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Eliot Hastie

Eliot Hastie

Eliot Hastie is a journalist at Momentum Media, writing primarily for its wealth and financial services platforms. 

Eliot joined the team in 2018 having previously written on Real Estate Business with Momentum Media as well.

Eliot graduated from the University of Westminster, UK with a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism).

You can email him on: [email protected]

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