SAN FRANCISCO — The Charles Schwab Corp. is cloning the services it provides to registered investment advisers, offering a similar platform to consultants that advise small institutions and high-net-worth individuals.
The move is a departure for the San Francisco-based firm, which is broadening its focus beyond RIAs and creating a dedicated consultant relations group to reach that new market, said Barnaby Grist, managing director for business consulting at Schwab Institutional, the group that handles RIA accounts.
This is one more means to Schwab Institutional's end goal of reaching $1 trillion in assets under administration by 2010, Mr. Grist said. Schwab Institutional has total clients assets of $388 billion as of Sept. 30, up 23% from a year earlier.
"We need to step up our game to yet another new level," Mr. Grist said. "One of the key parts of that (goal) is segmenting out the investment consultants and focusing on how we can help them grow their business, and then grow Schwab."
Taking a page from its RIA services, Schwab plans to streamline and automate the account management process for consultants with smaller institutional clients through a web-enabled platform, Mr. Grist said.The platform enables consultants to view and manage accounts as a group, rather than client by client. It also automates billing. In addition, Schwab will act as custodian of the assets.
Several consultants are using the new service, but Mr. Grist declined to identify them.