Schwab Announces Intellectual Capital Line-up for Independent Advisors in Q1 2009

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 6:00 am PST

Dateline:

SAN FRANCISCO

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SCHW

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Across the independent advisor industry, firms are facing difficult times as they work to calm anxious clients, motivate tired employees and sustain businesses that are facing challenging economics. Charles Schwab, a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for more than 5,500 independent investment advisors, will publish three new reports in the first quarter of 2009 that will support advisors by providing practice management guidance and insight on an array of topics:

  • Best practices for growing a trust services business (scheduled for January)
  • 2008 Best-Managed Firms report (scheduled for February)
  • Best practices for implementing customer relationship management (CRM) systems (scheduled for March)

These industry reports are part of the Schwab Market Knowledge Tools® (MKT) series, an ongoing program of industry research reports, white papers and guides that is part of GrowthPoint®, Schwab’s integrated practice management program.

The first report of the year will focus on how advisors can grow their businesses with trust services. A projected 76 million baby boomers will retire over the next 20 years with an estimated $41 trillion to $100 trillion in assets, part of which will be likely transferred to future generations through lifetime gifts or estate distributions1. Trusts can provide an ideal vehicle for these wealth transfers, and can benefit both wealth management clients and wealth management firms. Wealth managers can use trusts to strengthen relationships with existing clients, attract new ones and increase multigenerational asset retention. This report, available in January, will discuss the opportunities, challenges and key decisions facing advisors who want to evaluate a trust-service offering for their clients. In February, the 2008 Best-Managed Firms MKT report examining how successful firms manage their businesses, will be released. These firms, some 600 whose performance ranked among the top 20 percent of independent advisory firms that participated in Schwab’s 2007 RIA Benchmarking Study, achieved performance in terms of productivity per professional, profitability and revenue growth. The report will draw on quantitative data analysis to look at the drivers of their performance and share highlights of extensive interviews with the principals of 30 advisory firms to provide a rich, specific and useful body of knowledge.

A new report outlining best practices for successful CRM system implementation is planned for March. CRM systems are central to back office operations, enabling firms to maximize efficiencies, grow and achieve scalability. When integrated properly and used to its maximum potential inside a firm, a CRM system can be a hub for business operations, tracking and managing client interactions and business development activities, coordinating document management systems, serving as the interface to trading and quarter end processing systems, and automating a number of key business processes. Today, many firms have some type of client tracking system that is not fully meeting their long term needs. This paper will discuss how to plan for and manage the process of implementing a new CRM system or make changes to an existing one, and is intended to help advisors maximize CRM value by implementing underutilized features/functions.

“We are witnessing a shift from a focus on growth to a focus on productivity,” said Trish Cox, chief operating officer of Schwab’s group that serves independent investment advisors. “Today, firms want to be more nimble, take full advantage of opportunities and restore their profitability. These MKTs all center on best practices that can help firms achieve efficiency and improve productivity.”

“Advisors count on Schwab to draw on and share the best practices of the more than 5,500 firms that work with us,” she added. “We consistently hear that one of the key benefits we provide to clients is our ability to share the collective knowledge of the industry.”

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 7.4 million client brokerage accounts, 1.3 million corporate retirement plan participants, 427,000 banking accounts, and $1.2 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. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC, http://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.

The Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC) provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at www.schwab.com. (1208-1633)

1 Spectrem Group: 2007 Update of Personal Trust Asset Trends Among U.S. Banks and Increasing Opportunities for Successor Trustees

Contact:

Charles Schwab
Alison Wertheim, 415-636-5812
alison.wertheim@schwab.com

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