Schwab Announces Enhancements to Business Consulting Services Offer for Independent Investment Advisors

Additions include online Technology Adoption Scorecard, transition planning resources for advisory firms, and tools to drive advisor client loyalty and referrals

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 6:00 am PDT



Public Company Information:


SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schwab Advisor Services, a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for approximately 6,000 independent fee-based investment advisors, today announced a series of enhancements to its Business Consulting Services offer designed to help advisors fuel their growth and improve efficiency. Schwab’s Business Consulting Services offer provides insights, guidance, tools and resources to help independent advisor clients strategically manage and grow their firms in the areas of marketing and business development, business strategy and planning, technology and operations, human capital, transition planning, and compliance resources.

The most recent enhancements to Schwab’s Business Consulting Services offer for advisors include:

  • An online Technology Adoption Scorecard that gives advisory firms an interactive and actionable tool to track and measure employee adoption of Schwab’s online tools
  • The elimination of fees tied to Schwab’s Mergers & Acquisitions Listing Service, an online database that connects advisory firm buyers and sellers
  • A new partnership with Advisor Impact that gives advisors preferred pricing on a variety of tools and resources, including its Client Audit: Enterprise product, to help measure client loyalty and uncover referral opportunities

As part of its ongoing commitment to help independent advisors fuel their growth, Schwab also recently announced that starting in July 2009 it would waive commissions on electronic equity trades and reimburse transfer of account fees charged by contra brokers through June 30, 2010, for new-to-Charles Schwab & Co. clients of independent investment advisors who open accounts by December 31, 2009.

“Schwab has a sterling reputation for excellent service, business consulting acumen and impressive technology, and these latest enhancements demonstrate our continued commitment to be a leader on behalf of our clients in these areas,” said Trish Cox, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Advisor Services at Charles Schwab.

Online Technology Adoption Scorecard

According to the 2009 Charles Schwab RIA Benchmarking Study*, 95 percent of participating advisory firms purchase new technology to make their processes more efficient and save time. Ninety percent say they purchase new technology to enhance the service they provide to clients. To help advisors meet these objectives, Schwab’s Technology Adoption Scorecard, originally launched in hard copy form in April 2008 and which has been used by approximately 3,000 advisory firms to date, is being made available to advisors online, creating easier access in a more interactive and user-friendly format. The new online Technology Adoption Scorecard, which enables firms to track and benchmark usage of various online Schwab applications including cashiering, online account open, eConfirms, eStatements, alerts and trading, also features a number of new capabilities for advisors.

New features available now in the online Scorecard include:

  • Easier access to technology-related resources, tools and training via direct links from the Scorecard
  • Information that details where a firm is below adoption benchmarks based on other firms’ usage of different technologies
  • Access to advanced benchmarks enabling advisors to see usage rates among top the 20 percent of firms for each technology tool on the scorecard
  • “Inform a Colleague” tool allowing users to email the Scorecard to other members of their team to update them on the firm’s technology usage and resources available to drive greater adoption

Transition Planning Resources

Schwab's Mergers & Acquisitions Listing Service, which in the past has carried a fee for advisors, is now being offered at no cost for all advisors that custody with Schwab. The service is an online database that connects advisory firm buyers and sellers and enables advisors to maintain anonymity while soliciting interest and collecting information from other advisory firms on acquisitions, mergers, or sales. Buyers can also search for investment professionals with books of business who would like to join an RIA firm.

Schwab’s Mergers & Acquisitions Listing Service is the first database of its kind for RIAs and debuted in 2004. As of September 2009, the database contains more than 240 buyer listings and more than 55 seller Listings representing more than $6 billion in assets under management.

The Mergers & Acquisitions Listing Service is part of the Schwab Advisor Transition Services program for independent investment advisors. Schwab’s Advisor Transition Services is designed to guide advisors through each phase of the transition process including goal setting, evaluating options (internal succession, external sale, merger or acquisition) and executing a transition plan. In addition to the Mergers & Acquisitions Listing Service, the program includes:

  • Educational events – Workshops, and webcasts led by industry experts covering strategic, valuation, organizational, legal and tax issues involved in succession planning, and acquiring and selling an independent advisory business.
  • Access to experts - Independent consultants, investment bankers, lawyers and accountants who have experience working with investment advisors on succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, and valuation.
  • Educational content – Articles and whitepapers including best practices and insights on valuation methods, legal considerations, succession planning, and mergers and acquisition case studies

Additional information is available at

Client Feedback Tools for Advisors

According to the 2009 Charles Schwab RIA Benchmarking Study*, 73 percent of advisors say that maintaining quality and consistency in client service as the firm adds more clients is an important enabler to growth, and an average 85 percent of new independent advisor clients in 2008 came through referrals from existing clients or professional partners. As advisors seek to deepen client relationships and improve profitability by identifying revenue and referral opportunities, Schwab has partnered with Advisor Impact, a firm that works with financial advisors to gather and measure client feedback. Through its new partnership with Advisor Impact, Schwab’s independent investment advisor clients will receive preferred pricing on Advisor Impact’s Client Audit: Enterprise product, which gives advisors personalized client surveying tools and access to detailed and confidential client survey reports.

Advisor Impact’s Client Audit: Enterprise product enables advisory firms to:

  • Measure client satisfaction with the firm and identify the services most important to clients
  • Structure a client service plan designed to drive firm profitability
  • Increase revenue per client
  • Increase referrals from clients and professional partners
  • Understand specific client needs and identify potential gaps in the firm’s service

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 7.6 million client brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 646,000 banking accounts, and $1.3 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,, 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 a business segment of The Charles Schwab Corporation. The Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC) provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at (0909-10851)

* The 2009 Charles Schwab RIA Benchmarking Study represents the views of more than 600 firms managing more than $175 billion in combined assets. The data in the Charles Schwab 2009 RIA Benchmarking Study is self-reported by study participants and is not verified or validated by Schwab.

Advisor Impact is not affiliated with or an employee of Schwab.

The mention of the Advisor Impact is not, and should not be construed as a recommendation, endorsement or sponsorship by Schwab. Advisors must decide whether to hire any firm and the appropriateness of their services for your firm. Schwab does not supervise third party firms and takes no responsibility to monitor the services they provide.

Some of the above services are provided by third-party firms who are not affiliated with nor employees of Schwab.

Independent investment advisors are not owned, affiliated with or supervised by Schwab.


Charles Schwab
Michael Cianfrocca, 415-307-1558
Makovsky + Company
Janet Yoo, 212-508-9606

Corporate Public Relations
Contacts for Journalists Only




Business Wire NewsHQ℠