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Charles Schwab & Co. makes mutual fund owners fume by denying access to critical RIA asset data; some call it a 'cynical power play;' Schwab calls it a OneSource streamline

CEO Walt Bettinger tells analysts profit-taking and fund consolidation could be looming after $400 million hit from zeroing-out commissions.

Author Oisin Breen
November 1, 2019 at 7:42 PM
no description available
Walt Bettinger: I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say that we’re committed to letting anyone and anything on to our platform without regard to the economic implication.

Related Moves

Walt Bettinger axes current and former Schwab retail chiefs, Terri Kallsen and Andy Gill; funnels responsibilities to Jonathan Craig, for now

The Schwab CEO is 'restructuring,' which includes cutting the Chairman's Club program that sent 200 top performers to Hawaii on a free junket

July 24, 2019 at 12:53 AM

Another RIA whisperer, Julian Lopez, has left Schwab Advisor Services after 24 years to join LPL, which he sees as more advisor-focused and 'entrepreneurial'

The Houston executive, like Kelly Smith in Chicago, was considered a key service talent for RIAs though Lopez says his circumstances differ.

February 23, 2023 at 8:14 AM

Biz Briefs: Schwab puts checks for $52 million in mail to robo-RIA customers allegedly misled about cash allocations • BlackRock blacklisted (again) • iShares beats NZAM-exiter Vanguard • Fidelity makes first acquisition in eight years • CFP board realizes Moms don't like CFPs

BlackRock gets Kentucky coal in stocking, and Vanguard keeps skating; iShares inches above -- by 2.8% -- Vanguard's annual net new ETF asset haul; Fidelity takes "natural next step" for stock plan business; new CFP chair outlines plans and the DOJ is set to become a major Robinhood shareholder..

January 13, 2023 at 3:01 AM

Robinhood gets 'brilliant' upper manager -- and a spare CEO -- by nabbing TD Ameritrade's ex-thinkorswim top exec, hopefully to throw a lifesaver to Robinhood's sinking stock

The Menlo Park, Calif., firm nabbed Steve Quirk as first-ever chief brokerage officer to 'bridge the gap between academia and reality.'

January 6, 2022 at 10:33 PM

See more related moves

Dan Doyle

Dan Doyle

November 3, 2019 — 12:35 PM
Different than SCHW, dealerships provide an incredible amount of value to comsumers. Good luck scheduling service, getting a part, or expressing a complaint to TSLA. The buying process needs improvement, but dealers add underappreciated value to consumers. Manufacturers get the value of standby buyers, ease of delivery, and a partner to focus on low margin sales & service. OEMs need dealerships. SCHW is rearranging the shelves, but still needs some base inventory.
James Edwards

James Edwards

November 4, 2019 — 4:09 PM
Finally, no more cold(warm) calls from wholesalers just because we bought their funds. I know how and where to find them if I need information beyond what I used to buy the fund. The deluge of stale data and time wasting phone calls can cease.


November 4, 2019 — 4:51 PM
The key issue here is the potential of linking payments data with access to be on the firm platform available to investors. Hopefully Schwab does not play this game. Wirehouses will deny it but they put pressure on managers to buy data services in a pay to play arrangement. Managers like Vanguard refuse this but subpar managers desperate for distribution might write the check.


November 4, 2019 — 6:34 PM
I don't think this should be a surprise to anyone who has been close to Schwab's product area the last 2 years. I also don't think there should be any surprise when Schwab does start going overtly "pay to play" for data. There are few other places to look for revenue replacement given their "strategy". Mutual funds have historically provided a disproportionate share of over firm top line and, given the sheer scale, will again be targeted to carry the freight. It will be interesting to see how they respond to investor demand for funds that don't fall into their core offer. Historically, this has been a pain point and it seems like it will become more of an issue, both in terms of "client experience" and human capital cost.


November 6, 2019 — 2:10 AM
Thank you! I've been watching and waiting for someone to write an article about this disruptive action taken by Schwab, but knew most asset managers would not want to go on the record for fear of any form of retaliation. When asked about the frequency for reviewing assets and bps as assets grow, Schwab said 'probably once a year'. Asked about a data pack in the future, no plans. This cripples the small-to-medium sized funds who rely on the platform and used the data transparency to drive and support their marketing efforts.

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