New Charles Schwab Report Shows How CRM Can Help Independent Advisors Increase Productivity and Enhance Client Service

Report Shares Best Practices and Tips for Avoiding Common Mistakes

Monday, May 11, 2009 6:00 am PDT



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SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As independent investment advisors address increasing demands from clients and continue to strive for greater operational efficiency, Charles Schwab has released a new report, Getting the Most out of your CRM Investment. The report outlines best practices for planning, selecting and implementing customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and offers tips for getting the most out of these tools and successfully navigating the implementation process. It finds that while most independent investment advisors use some type of client tracking system, many could do more to realize the full business benefits of these systems to increase their productivity and profitability.

“One of the most common conversations Schwab Technology Consultants are having with advisors right now is about how to maximize existing technology given the pressures firms are facing in this environment,” said Trish Cox, chief operating officer of Schwab’s Advisor Services division. “A good CRM system can serve as the productivity hub of an advisory firm – improving workflow, creating efficiencies, and maximizing the client experience.”

According to the new Schwab report, implementation is the step where many CRM projects fail. To help advisors more effectively implement CRM, the report discusses the three critical phases of implementation including integrating the CRM and other systems such as document management and portfolio management, encouraging use and adoption of the system by firm staff, and ensuring seamless data incorporation into the new system and effective ongoing data management once the system is up and running.

The report provides investment advisors with a three-step approach for selecting a CRM system, which includes defining the firm’s business goals and how a CRM system can help achieve them; assessing the specific CRM features and functionality necessary to meet a firm’s needs; and establishing objectives for the system following implementation.

To help advisory firms select the right CRM system for their specific needs, the report reviews the three major categories of CRM solutions for the RIA industry including general solutions, RIA-specific solutions, and custom-built solutions, and also examines the most common CRM applications and features, including:

  • Contact management
  • Client communications
  • Workflow automation
  • Document management
  • Marketing and business development

Charles Schwab is a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for more than 5,700 independent investment advisory firms. The new report, Customer Relationship Management Best Practices: Getting the Most out of your CRM Investment, is based on information collected from in-depth interviews with the some of the industry’s top-performing independent registered investment advisor (RIA) firms in terms of productivity, operating income, and revenue growth.

About Schwab Market Knowledge Tools® (MKT) Reports

The Schwab Market Knowledge Tools series is an ongoing program of industry research reports, white papers and guides from Charles Schwab designed to keep investment advisors on the forefront of trends and competitive challenges facing the industry today. Offered exclusively to Charles Schwab’s investment advisor clients, the MKT program delivers the kind of relevant and timely information needed for future business planning.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 7.5 million client brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 508,000 banking accounts, and $1.1 trillion in client assets as of March 31, 2009. 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,, 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 (0509-8922)


Charles Schwab
Michael S. Cianfrocca, 415-667-3252
Makovsky + Co.
Jon Pappas, 212-508-9637

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