Last week, sixty UBS Wealth Management Americas financial advisors began a three month test drive of the “UBS FA Mobile” a byproduct of a collaboration between the firm and FrameHawk, a San Francisco-based developer of mobile applications.
The application is password-secured and runs behind the UBS firewall on an “internal cloud” computing network that lets FAs tap into research, client materials, account and contact data as well as analyst reports and their e-mail accounts.
Basically, it’s their office computer on the iPad. If the test is successful, UBS plans to release the app to all of its more than 6,000 advisors in March.
According to Larry Barrett, reporting for OnWallStreet, their timing could not be better. Financial Planning Tech surveyed more than 3,200 advisors and more than 40% already own a tablet and of those 85% own the iPad.
More and more clients are using devices like the iPad to conduct their business and to meet their demand, UBS appears to be ahead of the game as more and more firms are racing to either develop their own mobile apps or find vendors to do it for them.
“To that end, UBS also made an undisclosed investment in FrameHawk at the same time they were collaborating on the UBS FA Mobile” reported Barrett.
I’d call that a smart move.