September 25, 2011

Highlights to better work with Schwab

by Marilyn Dale

Bill Thomas
At the recent Huntington Asset Services Annual Client Conference, keynote speaker, Bill Thomas, former head of Schwab's mutual fund marketplace, shared his insights for how mutual fund companies can break through the web of wirehouses by participating in Schwab One Source, the NTF (non-transaction fee) platform.

  • Know and use your relationship manager as your resource. Each services about 100 accounts yet are under pressure to add new funds. If you have a good story with performance, you have an advantage. Don’t miss the opportunity. Last year, Schwab added about 2500 new mutual funds.
  • Understand Schwab operates in four silos: retail (self-directed), institutional, retirement, and clearing enterprises
  • Lobby to be added to the Select List. Ask for an opportunity to meet the research team. Tell why you are better. Also, look at the NEW institutional Select List.
  • Schwab has added an “advice-giving” program for private clients. These clients can buy into asset allocation models, which pull from the Select List.
  • Best opportunities may be the institutional side, which serves RIAs. Leverage yourself as a peer:
  • Consider participation in Schwab Impact annual conference participation and regional events and visits
  • Provide resources you already have, such as white papers, research and economic comments through the Schwab Research Center (ask your rep how).
  • Strive to be added to a recommended allocation model
  • Leverage the reporting to know and thank your customers
  • Take advantage of Schwab’s private labeled clearing business. Your funds may be available to advisors through these programs, often in your back yard. Ask your relationship manager to help you identify them.
In summary, Bill says if you have good performance and are ready to step up to the costs, then focus, know the players, and build relationships to get noticed.

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