UBS will be the first wealth management firm in the U.S. to offer BlackRock’s Aladdin technology to its advisors as part of an ongoing effort to improve digital tools and, in turn, offer better service to clients.
The Swiss bank announced a partnership with the asset manager on Monday and will begin rolling out the Aladdin Risk for Wealth Management (ARWM) platform early this summer.
Aladdin is a portfolio management, risk analytics and trading tool used by more than 25,000 investment professionals. BlackRock itself uses the tool and has adapted it for institutions, such as other asset managers and wealth funds. UBS advisors will now have access to a version that includes multi-asset portfolio analytics and one-click analysis of their entire book of business, a task that once took more than an hour.
Glenn Regan, the managing director of managed solutions and portfolio guidance at UBS, added that the platform is “intuitive” and easy to navigate. Another selling point for UBS was the intellectual property behind the tools and the ability to analyze across asset classes.
“It’s more rare to see software technology that helps you analyze multi-asset portfolios,” Regan said.
The platform will ultimately be available to discretionary investment advisors (those choosing investments on behalf of their clients) and home office professionals affiliated with the bank’s Wealth Management Americas unit. UBS did not share how many professionals that included, but a spokesperson said those two groups make up a minority of the unit’s 6,969 financial advisors.
UBS has been working with BlackRock to customize the software. Communication between the bank and asset manager regarding the partnership started more than two years ago.
The partnership is not an exclusive one, according to Regan, and BlackRock will likely continue to partner with other wealth management businesses.
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink recently said at Morningstar’s annual investment conference in Chicago that in five years, the technology will account for 30 percent of the asset manager’s revenue. (It currently accounts for only 7 percent.)
Fink also said BlackRock continues to invest in and improve Aladdin, which is growing 12-14 percent per year.
BlackRock did not have anyone available for comment at press time.