7 key takeaways for RIAs from Schwab’s annual business meeting
At the heart of Charles Schwab’s annual business update meeting was one word: competition.
As the Department of Justice requests additional information from both Schwab and TD Ameritrade ahead of a pending acquisition over antitrust concerns, executives at San Francisco-based Schwab repeatedly played up competitive threats in the retail and RIA marketplaces during their presentation to shareholders. (The Justice Department, meanwhile, has been reaching out to Schwab’s rivals as part of its review.)
CEO Walt Bettinger began by discussing the “intense competitive environment.” Subsequent presenters followed suit.
“I don't spend a lot of time thinking of any one competitor, because we operate in such a fragmented market that I'm looking at wirehouses, I'm looking at fintechs, I'm looking at Fidelity, TD, E-Trade, Vanguard, banks, and who am I missing?” said Jonathan Craig, senior executive vice president of investor services and marketing.
Bernie Clark, head of Schwab’s custodial platform, said more competitors could emerge. “The price of entry into the custodial space has never been cheaper and easier,” he said.
How will Schwab meet these competitive threats? What will a combined Schwab-TD look like? Read on to learn how executives intend to grapple with those and other issues.