Advisor Demand Increasing for Outsourced Technology Solution; New Enhancements Also Made to PortfolioCenter
Public Company Information:
RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schwab Performance Technologies (SPT), a leading provider of technology solutions for independent investment advisors, today announced strides the company has made in its first year of offering PortfolioServices, a full-service, hosted performance reporting solution that enables advisors to outsource key back office tasks. PortfolioServices is based on PortfolioCenter®, SPT’s portfolio data management software, and became part of SPT’s product offering following the company’s acquisition of Etelligent Consulting, Inc. in January 2008.
Through PortfolioServices, SPT now provides back office outsourcing services to 134 independent investment advisory firms. This represents a more than 20 percent increase in new clients since last year’s acquisition. Client assets now handled through PortfolioServices total more than $30 billion.
“We are working closely with advisors who have just recently become independent and who want to spend less time on technology and more time working with their clients and establishing their practice. In fact, 40 percent of our new clients have just made the transition to independence,” said Dan Skiles, vice president of technology for Charles Schwab’s Advisor Services division. “The current tough market environment has also increased demand for outsourcing among existing advisor firms who are looking for ways to be more efficient.”
SPT has made numerous service and product enhancements to support PortfolioServices clients, including significant investments in system infrastructure to expand capacity and improve security and site performance. SPT introduced a new premium report package, which includes more flexibility for advisors to customize client presentations, and a quarterly newsletter highlighting best practices. From a service perspective, in addition to now supporting clients through locations in both Raleigh, NC, and Overland Park, KS and offering a new toll-free service number, SPT now provides each client with a dedicated relationship manager to help ensure that clients get the full value of their relationship with SPT.
Client reactions to the enhancements to PortfolioServices have been very positive:
"We like having a dedicated service person who is familiar with our firm's style and needs and is able to address our questions quickly," said Norman Boone, founder and president of Mosaic Financial Partners, Inc. in San Francisco. "Outsourcing this function to Schwab Performance Technologies has helped us keep the important commitment we have made to our clients to provide current and accurate reporting.”
"Using PortfolioServices has increased our firm's productivity by 15 percent. The hours we used to spend each morning downloading and reviewing data can now be spent working directly with clients," said Wayne Haas, wealth management consultant for Vickerman & Driscoll Financial Advisors, Inc. in Spokane, WA. "We've also benefited from the remote access capabilities that allow us to run reports from any location, including during client meetings."
Guided by a philosophy of true open architecture, SPT provides interfaces with more than 40 different broker-dealers. As with PortfolioCenter, SPT makes PortfolioServices available to all independent investment advisors whether or not they custody assets with Schwab.
SPT rolling out enhancements to flagship PortfolioCenter
While continuing to enhance its new PortfolioServices offering, SPT is also rolling out the latest release of PortfolioCenter to the more than 3,000 independent advisory firms that currently use this software. This new release is being introduced to clients throughout the first half of 2009 and will include significant improvements to portfolio navigation, transaction management and accounting. Specific enhancements include a new customizable main screen and enhanced reconciliation tools to streamline daily workflow. The new release is also fully compatible with Microsoft® SQL Server 2005 and 2008 platforms and the Vista operating system. More details on the release are available at www.schwabpt.com.
About Schwab Performance Technologies
Founded in 1985, Schwab Performance Technologies (SPT) is a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation and a leading provider of portfolio management and accounting solutions to more than 3,000 independent financial advisors and investment managers. SPT develops powerful portfolio management solutions to help advisors manage their practice and service their clients. PortfolioCenter® and PortfolioServices are products of SPT. An open architecture firm, SPT provides services to all independent advisors regardless of custodial relationships. SPT also supports third party outsourcing providers who use PortfolioCenter as the basis for their offering. More information is available at www.schwabpt.com.
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, 1.4 million corporate retirement plan participants, 447,000 banking accounts, and $1.1 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, 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 its Advisor Services division. The Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC) provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at www.schwab.com.