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UBS and Julius Baer trial offering wealth advice in the metaverse

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Two of the world’s largest wealth managers are experimenting with switching their client meetings from oak paneled conference rooms to the Metaverse, but struggle to overcome data security and motion sickness.

UBS and Julius Baer, ​​a Swiss bank that specializes in providing rigorous financial advice to billionaires, have used clunky headsets and pixels to interact with their customers, according to people involved in the study. We are experimenting with the use of personalized avatars, respectively.

But neither bank is far from rolling out virtual reality services to its ultra-high net worth customers. Experimentation raised concerns about the technology’s usability and its ability to securely share documents.

“We don’t have this tech yet. Frankly, it looks like Atari graphics at the moment, but people who tried it got motion sickness,” said one bank executive who participated in the trial. increase.

“We also have a lot of issues around sensitive data and the security of sensitive data.”

of metaverse is an immersive virtual world where people wearing headsets interact with each other as three-dimensional avatars.

Backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and others, Facebook was renamed Meta last year, angering investors. big expense about virtual reality.

Wealth management is one of the last professional services to be disrupted by digitalization as the highly valuable and personal interaction with advisors when discussing investments.

However, some wealth managers have started investing heavily in technology in recent years to ensure they are ready for the changing demands.

Since becoming CEO of UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager, two years ago, Ralph Hammers has prioritized investments in digital technology to reduce costs and differentiate the Group’s offerings from its rivals.

“We will use digitization and all the opportunities it presents to provide personal advice and use digital technology to tailor that advice to the needs of our clients,” Hamers said at the bank’s annual shareholder meeting this year. “This is not an one-or-one issue. Our clients decide what they want. Our job is to give them what they want.”

Hamers had pursued the use of artificial intelligence in wealth management by acquiring US advisory firm Wealthfront for $1.4 billion, but UBS canceled the hijack in September.

A person involved in UBS’s virtual reality trial said the bank is trying to find ways to improve digital meetings with customers.

“We’ve been doing some experiments,” they said. “We set up a virtual office in the Metaverse to test how we interacted with our clients, different ways to play, what they looked like, what our avatars looked like, and whether they were really useful.

“We’re not there. It’s still very experimental.”

UBS has previously used augmented reality technology to help staff Recreate the trading floor Environment while working from home during pandemic.

Another Swiss bank, Julius Baer, ​​is also experimenting with virtual reality, promising to invest heavily in technology over the next few years.

The bank conducted a 12-week pilot for a group of staff to hold internal meetings in a virtual space, and recently 200 executives participated in a “metaverse experience” at a senior global management meeting.

“At this stage, we are not going to use this kind of technology outwardly. It’s really meant to build knowledge and understanding, said a person familiar with the trial.

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