UBS is tackling its big data problem and using some Silicon Valley tactics to do it. The Swiss bank launched a hackathon ("The Innovation Challenge") in September offering a cash prize for a solution which could help it better understand its clients and tailor advice based on those insights. The winner, Sqreem Technologies, applied big data analytics to publicly available data and produced detailed profiles that UBS matched with private client records.
UBS Group AG (UBSG), facing the threat of competition from Google Inc. (GOOGL) and Amazon.com Inc., has turned to a Singapore-based technology company that uses artificial intelligence for help delivering personalized advice to the bank’s wealthy clients. Sqreem Technologies Pte. Ltd. beat some 80 teams competing in the Innovation Challenge, a contest organized by Switzerland’s biggest bank that offered S$40,000 ($30,000) and a potential contract to the winner. Their task: Extract the information most relevant to an individual client from an explosion of data and deliver this tailored content to clients’ mobile phones, iPads and other digital devices. “Banking is one of the most rudimentary industries when it comes to digitalization,” Dirk Klee, chief operating officer for UBS wealth management and responsible for digital initiatives, said in an interview.