Shwab opens MarketSquare investment vendor review site

Source: Charles Schwab

Schwab Intelligent Technologies announces the launch of Schwab OpenView MarketSquare™, a review site that compiles feedback and ratings from independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) on some of the leading technology vendors and products in the industry.

Since announcing the MarketSquare concept in November 2012, Schwab Intelligent Technologies has received more than 400 reviews from advisors on more than 80 different products. For today's launch, the site includes reviews on 15 technology products in the areas of CRM, portfolio management, document management, trading and rebalancing, and financial planning.

"We have consistently heard from advisors that one of their biggest technology challenges is selecting the right providers and solutions for their particular firm's needs," said Neesha Hathi, senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services. "Our team works with advisors every day to help them make good purchasing decisions, but peer feedback and insight is an important part of the decision process. We want to help our clients access the collective wisdom and experience of advisors who are using these technologies."

MarketSquare is available for advisors who work with Schwab Advisor Services™ through Advisors can read the current reviews, submit reviews for technology products they are using, read comments or feedback provided by the vendors themselves, and access vendors' contact information on the website.

MarketSquare Methodology

MarketSquare reviews consist of a combination of both quantitative and qualitative feedback. Advisors rate a product on a five-point scale across several categories, including feature and functionality, setup and implementation experience, and customer service and support. They can also include lengthy written comments.

The reviews are then categorized and analyzed so that prevailing sentiments are identified, and a consolidated review is produced. Common themes are highlighted from advisor comments - both positive and negative - that include verbatim quotes that help amplify the voice of advisors. Only products with a minimum of five reviews are candidates for inclusion.

"The process aims to minimize subjectivity and to provide advisors with a meaningful summary of reviewer feedback in a convenient, accessible format," said Brian Shenson, vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services. "We will continue to add new reviews, products and vendors to the site in the coming months."

Vendor Participation

More than 40 leading companies have currently agreed to have their products and services reviewed on MarketSquare. Among those companies that will have product reviews on MarketSquare at launch are Envestnet|Tamarac™, Salentica® CRM, Junxure®, Morningstar®, and Schwab Performance Technologies®. All vendors reviewed on MarketSquare have given permission for their products to be featured, though they do not edit or revise the review. They do have the option to provide a response. Vendors that are interested in becoming part of MarketSquare are encouraged to contact

"We have had a great response to MarketSquare from our vendor community," said Shenson. "We see MarketSquare as both a benefit to our advisor clients and to the vendors who want to increase awareness of their products and services."

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