Today, independent investment advisors who custody with Charles Schwab have access to a new, fully integrated website that helps them more efficiently manage their client accounts.
Schwab Advisor Center, located at schwabadvisorcenter.com, offers a host of new features and functionality that enable advisors to explore and use client data in a more flexible way, and integrates with Schwab Data Delivery (formerly SchwabLink), the company's enhanced data files delivery and data management application.
According to Steve Hirsch, vice president of Institutional Web Services at Schwab, "We worked hand-in-hand with many of our advisor clients on the design and features of the new site to more closely mirror how they actually work. The new site provides them with the information they need, when and how they need it. By adapting to their work practices, the new site enables advisors to save time and serve their clients more efficiently."
The new platform enables advisors to:
- Create custom account groups and organize data by household, portfolio model and more
- Navigate and access information easier, and more intuitively
- Search and browse to find accounts more quickly and easily
- Access aggregate balances and positions for households and groups of up to 200 accounts
- Safeguard client information by setting permissions for the functions, account information and data each employee can access
- Sort, resize and export data tables to customize views
- Schedule automatic downloads and view historic balances and positions
An early version of the new site was first introduced to advisors in September 2008, and in June 2009, another 56 advisor firms began using the new site in pilot mode.
"The new site's navigation seems more intuitive and the integration with Schwab Data Delivery is very convenient," said Patty Meneley, a principal at advisory firm Sargent Bickham Lagudis, LLC. "A number of features, including custom account groups, the ability to view aggregated account data, and account search tools, should also enable us to save time and be more productive."
Hirsch emphasized that the new site capitalizes on state-of-the-art Web technologies to enable the delivery of a rich web experience and desktop-like feel. He noted that the website will continue to evolve and improve over time, and that advisors will be given ample time to transition from the existing website to the new one.
A comprehensive "What's New" section was created for advisors and includes a robust set of online training resources including in-depth tutorials, quick reference guides, comprehensive FAQs, and a new Help section; both live and recorded webcast tours also are being offered to support advisors as they transition to the new site. In addition, advisors have access to their service team and technical support specialists - all of whom are available to assist advisors in learning the site's new features and capabilities.
The launch of Schwab Advisor Center is a key component of Schwab's ongoing commitment to advisors. In June, Schwab announced plans to invest in an array of other new service and technology projects that will begin to benefit advisors by the end of the year, including:
- Secure email functionality between select advisors and Schwab's service representatives;
- Operations consultants who will share best practices with advisors' back-office staff to improve their productivity and efficiency; and
- The debut of a new program offering classes to help advisor back-office professionals become proficient at managing custody, account servicing and operations processing.
Schwab also announced in June that 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 the end of the year.
Patty Meneley and Sargent Bickham Lagudis, LLC are not affiliated with Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.