Building a Workstation In House

Merrill Lynch is not the only company revamping its financial advisers’ desktops. UBS Financial Services now is rolling out its new platform, ConsultWorks 2. Like Merrill’s, UBS’s system is Web-based and integrated so that advisers can navigate between some 125 applications. Like Merrill’s, UBS’s legacy platform was not well-integrated. Unlike Merrill, however, UBS is building its new system in-house.

"When we looked at what we could buy, we saw many good point solutions, [but] we didn’t see anything that met two criteria: a high degree of integration and a degree of nomadic access from anywhere in the world," says CIO Scott Abbey. He believed that his IT department’s experience building and working with the previous version of ConsultWorks made it the best choice to build the new desktop. And a UBS spokesman adds the company "spent significantly less" than UBS’s rivals have cited.

After a pilot test last year, UBS rolled out the workstation to its more than 8,000 financial advisers this spring. This month marks the halfway point of the rollout, which should be complete by year’s end. Though UBS has publicly announced it’s using Reuters Plus Web as its market data application, it won’t reveal other vendors involved in the project.

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