Charles Schwab Is Quietly One of the Biggest Banks in America. That’s a Problem.

Walt Bettinger, chief executive of Charles Schwab Corp., had just signed a deal to acquire the company’s main trading rival — TD Ameritrade — for a massive $26 billion in Schwab shares. But rather than crow about Schwab’s bulging market clout, he surprisingly called the takeover a “unique opportunity to […]

Walt Bettinger, chief executive of Charles Schwab Corp., had just signed a deal to acquire the company’s main trading rival — TD Ameritrade — for a massive $26 billion in Schwab shares. But rather than crow about Schwab’s bulging market clout, he surprisingly called the takeover a “unique opportunity to build a firm with the soul of a challenger.”

Almost a year after that November announcement, Bettinger still insists Schwab is a defiant David rather than the new Goliath. 

“Being disruptive defines Schwab when it was a little, itty-bitty startup and what Schwab will be even after this acquisition,” he tells Institutional Investor in an exclusive interview.

But competitors don’t buy the underdog pitch. 

Instead, they are out of breath trying to keep up with Schwab’s market-shattering moves. In recent years, Wall Street firms have hastened to match the company’s Main Street initiatives, such as eliminating fees for online stock and exchange-traded fund trades and convincing clients to use robo-advisers rather than humans for financial planning and portfolio management.

In the meantime, Schwab has remade itself into much more than a discount brokerage firm. Schwab Bank, now one of the country’s largest by deposits, has become the main generator of revenues and profits. Schwab is the dominant player in a key segment of the custody market, servicing independent registered investment advisers and their clients. And in wealth management, it is moving beyond its affluent mass-market clients to high-net-worth and even ultrahigh-net-worth investors.

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World Financial Planning Day Spotlights Value of Financial Planning in Uncertain Times

Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation. https://apnews.com/press-release/pr-newswire/business-financial-planning-personal-finance-aefd11aa1622ac5ca9c0e5ad6260ec70 Click to copy WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. ( CFP Board) is joining with the Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. ( FPSB) in recognizing World […]