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UBS to Close ETF and Mutual Fund Platform, Move Clients to SMAs

November 4, 2020

UBS is closing its mutual fund and ETF platform and transitioning clients to its separately managed account programs, while dropping account minimums on its robo to bring them in line with other wirehouses, according to news reports.

The company is closing its Managed Portfolio program to new accounts on November 13 and shifting investors on the platform to its Access SMA program around November 20, FA-IQ sister publication Ignites writes, citing a disclosure filed Friday.

Distributors across the industry are seeking to transition their advisors from discretionary, representative-as-portfolio-manager platforms to SMAs that outsource asset management to third parties, says Dennis Gallant, a senior analyst at Aite Group, according to the publication

“We’ve been seeing this migration, and advisors have been moving in this direction,” Gallant says, according to Ignites. “[Gatekeepers] want to get most advisors out of managing money on a day-to-day-basis.”

While UBS’ Managed Portfolio program used models created by the firm’s home office, SMAs offer more customization for clients, with advisors able to tack on tax management and other services, according to Gallant, the publication writes.

In addition, UBS has dropped the minimum investment in UBS Advice Portfolio, its digital advice offering, from $10,000 to $5,000, according to Ignites. The service is one of the firm’s three remaining discretionary advisory programs, the publication writes.

The move brings UBS’ robo in line with that of competing firms, such as Merrill Edge’s Guided Investing, Morgan Stanley’s Access Investing and Wells Fargo’s Intuitive Investing platforms, all of which have $5,000 minimums, according to Ignites.

UBS intends to give access to the digital advice platform to clients with its Wealth Advice Center — which typically serves smaller clients — after it closes the Managed Portfolio program, the publication writes.

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By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Ignites article cited in this story, click here if you have a paid subscription.
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Tags:  Technology , Investment strategies , Portfolio management , Aite Group , Morgan Stanley , Wells Fargo , UBS

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Old Dog Nov. 4, 2020 at 08:52 AM EST

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Hey UBS Bros you just became irrelevant. Thank you sir can I have another?