News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community


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
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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.

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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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

A canary in the coal mine, Amy Richardson left Charles Schwab & Co. for an RIA -- before the 2,000 layoffs -- now a robust job market is saving the Schwab diaspora, she says

The former Schwab director wants former colleagues to know life exists after Schwab and good job opportunities are plentiful in the financial services sector.

December 20, 2023 at 1:52 AM

Biz Briefs: The sorry scene at my local First Republic branch • Schwab launches new (smaller) lay-off round • Schwab hoovers pennies passing FINRA fee to clients • Gensler pleas for funds • Fidelity owner's private equity pres. retires • an Orion-Envestnet staff switcheroo • LPL dumps FutureAdvisor

Range Rovers screeched in and drivers joined a grim queue to get their cash, and cookie • The Schwab-TDA deal cull count now stands at roughly 3.5% of its staff • FMR's hockey star president has stepped down • SEC chief wants more enforcers • An Envestnet executive proves joining a rival is good business • LPL now has an in-house robot.

April 29, 2023 at 1:36 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

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