SINGAPORE (Oct 30): With technology disrupting industries and businesses, jobs that are now available could soon be replaced by robots.

But in the asset management industry, jobs may not disappear as quickly as some fear could happen.

This is the case – at least – for UOB Asset Management.

Early this year, the local fund house launched a robo-adviser called UOBAM Invest, targeting corporate clients.

The robo-adviser generates different model portfolio proposals automatically, ranging from very conservative to very aggressive, based on the client’s risk tolerance and appetite.

These portfolios are created from a wide range of UOBAM-managed funds and global exchange-traded funds (ETFs) spanning various asset classes, such as equities, high-yield and investment grade bonds, as well as money market and short-term fixed income.

However, UOBAM Invest was used more of as a tool to aid human account managers in their engagement with clients.

And only static model portfolio proposals were generated for corporate clients to choose from based on their investment goals, investment horizon and risk profile.

Today, UOBAM has launched the next phase of the robo-adviser, which comes with more customised features.

Through UOBAM Invest, corporate investors can now generate multiple plausible based on various economic and market scenarios in real time.

The robot-adviser also comes with a “self-serve” feature called Fund direct, which allows corporate investors who prefer an independent approach to investing to build and manage their own investment portfolio of UOBAM-managed funds.

While this may eliminate the need for account managers, UOBAM senior director of business development Rachel Ong dismisses the idea that these jobs will be displaced any time soon.

This is because account managers will still be needed to “handhold” clients and “advise” them.

“We are still in the early stages of digital advisory,” she says at media briefing.

“So far from our conversations with them, we would still want to have the human touch. We still want the front engagement with our investors.”

Ong notes that financial advisers are able to offer relevant research materials to clients, of which the robo-adviser is unable to provide just yet.

As for funds that are managed by robo-advisers, Ong says that UOBAM has no such plans to do so currently.