School's Not out for Summer: New Schwab Advisor University™ Offers Classes to Boost Advisor Productivity

Online Curriculum Helps RIA Firms Maximize Use of Schwab Advisor Center™ Tools and Technology

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 6:00 am PDT

Dateline:

SAN FRANCISCO

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
SCHW
"Advisors tell us that maximizing productivity and efficiency to enable growth is one of their top business priorities"

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Charles Schwab, a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for more than 6,000 independent investment advisory firms, has launched Schwab Advisor University, an interactive online training program to help registered investment advisors (RIAs) improve operational productivity and performance. Located on Schwab Advisor Center, Schwab’s website for its RIA clients, the self-paced classes have been designed specifically to train RIA operations and support staff how to efficiently conduct business with Schwab by taking maximum advantage of Schwab’s numerous tools and resources.

In a recent Schwab research study*, 67 percent of advisors surveyed said it would be useful to receive training on how to best use Schwab’s technology tools. Improvements in back-office staff productivity will be a direct benefit for the firms that make use of the tools highlighted in the classes, but Schwab Advisor University will also help advisors realize time and cost savings because of the efficiency inherent in online training.

“Advisors tell us that maximizing productivity and efficiency to enable growth is one of their top business priorities,” said Julie Sunwoo, vice president of business consulting for Schwab Advisor Services. “Schwab Advisor University is designed to provide a flexible and practical environment for staff to sharpen skills and improve performance in a range of operational areas so team members can spend more time serving clients and doing their part to help their firms grow.”

According to Patty Meneley, chief operations and compliance officer of Sargent Bickham Lagudis in Boulder, Colo., “The University provides an easy way to get people up to speed quickly, and also to evaluate if they learned what they needed to learn.”

Schwab Advisor University is designed to work in conjunction with Schwab’s Technology Adoption Scorecard to identify areas for improving firm productivity, and then address them with specific training. Schwab’s Technology Adoption Scorecard, which launched in 2008 and has been used by more than 3,000 advisory firms to date, enables firms to track and benchmark usage of various online Schwab applications.

Schwab Advisor University is currently comprised of 12 self-paced courses and reference materials, including a New Employee course series designed for first-time users of Schwab Advisor Center tools. Advisory firm employees can select one or more classes to attend, or follow one of several development paths that outline structured sets of courses to complement staff roles. The online curriculum covers the four categories of Schwab tools – New Accounts, Account Servicing, Move Money, and Trading & Research – and specifically includes classes on:

  • Client account opening
  • Online cashiering
  • Transfer of assets (TOA)
  • Monitoring client transaction status
  • Investment research
  • Back office processing for fixed income trading
  • Back office processing for equity and mutual fund web trading

RIA principals, owners and operations managers can oversee training and coursework for their staff. Administrators have access to real-time course reporting, can track course completion, and are provided with recommendations on how to best implement Schwab Advisor University in their firms.

“The training helps me tremendously as a manager. I don’t have to make time myself or take someone away from my team to sit with someone who needs training. It’s invaluable to me,” said Cynde Lee, director of operations and chief compliance officer at the San Francisco Bay Area advisory firm Sand Hill Advisors LLC. “I like the interactivity and that I can get a report to let me know how employees are doing and whether they’ve completed the training.”

Schwab Advisor University’s format also gives staff the flexibility to plan classes around their schedules. “The fact that it’s online allows you to work according to your own schedule, so you can’t beat the convenience,” said Mike Schmidt, senior vice president and chief compliance officer at the Milwaukee, Wisc., firm Diversified Management, Inc. “I need to train new hires, and at the same time do my own work. Anything I can delegate to an online solution is really appealing to me.”

The launch of Schwab Advisor University is the latest example of Schwab’s ongoing commitment to helping advisors maximize productivity by bringing interactive online training on Schwab Advisor Center tools and technology to users' desktops. For the past decade, Schwab has also held SOLUTIONS® workshops to provide RIAs with strategic, forward-looking perspectives on operations and technology best practices. The live, one-day conferences provide principals and operations managers, as well as operations staff, with inspiration as well as practical suggestions for implementing best practices within their firms. Schwab’s 2010 SOLUTIONS workshops run July 8 to August 12.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 7.9 million client brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 794,000 banking accounts, and $1.4 trillion in client assets. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Named "Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Self-Directed Services" by J.D. Power and Associates in 2009, its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”) (member SIPC, www.sipc.org), and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at www.schwab.com. (0610-3432)

*Schwab online study conducted among 1,049 Schwab Advisor Services independent advisor clients. Data collected from 10/27/09 to 11/6/09.

Third party firms are not affiliated with or an employee of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Experiences expressed are no guarantee of future performance or success and may not be representative of your experience.

Contact:

Charles Schwab
Michael Cianfrocca, 415-667-0344
michael.cianfrocca@schwab.com
or
Makovsky + Company
Janet Yoo, 212-508-9606
jyoo@makovsky.com

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