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Rating:Schwab Refocuses on Corporate Business Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Schwab Refocuses on Corporate Business

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Charles Schwab & Company has restructured its Schwab Institutional Services group. The moves were revealed yesterday in an email to investment advisors from Schwab Vice Chairman John Coghlan.

The email revealed that the broker is creating a new business unit, dubbed Corporate Services. That area integrate Schwab's Retirement Plan Services unit (defined contribution and defined benefit plans), Corporate and Executive Services unit (equity compensation plans), and certain other areas, said Coghlan.

Walt Bettinger, currently the president of the Retirement Plan Services unit, will lead the newly created Corporate Services unit. Coghlan also said that Gerald Graves, currently chief operating officer, will head the sales and marketing efforts for the business.

The move by Schwab reflects a trend in the industry for large players to bring all corporate service under one business group.

The text of Coghlan's email follows:

January 8, 2002

Dear Investment Advisors,

As you know, in addition to our business with you, I am responsible for several other business areas at Schwab. Today, I am forming a new business within Schwab Institutional, called Corporate Services. This area will bring all of Schwab's capabilities to bear to help corporations, although it will focus principally on those with over 500 employees.

To bring this about, I am integrating our existing Retirement Plan Services unit (defined contribution and defined benefit plans), our Corporate and Executive Services unit (equity compensation plans), and certain other areas of our firm that provide services to corporations. Our Executive Committee, on which I serve, has named this initiative one of the Corporation's key areas of focus. You should note that our business with you was also named a top priority.

While I would not usually intrude upon you with news of a reorganization, there is one element of this change that is particularly important for you to know.

That element is that I have turned to one of the most capable and trusted people in the firm to lead the Sales and Marketing effort in this new area. In the dozen years that Gerald Graves and I have worked together to better serve you, he has distinguished himself by his dedication, client orientation, follow-through and strategic thinking. Gerald is a highly regarded senior executive at Schwab. In my opinion, he will both contribute mightily to this new effort and will gain new skills that will benefit him in his career at Schwab.

In his new role, Gerald will report to Walt Bettinger, who assumes leadership for Corporate Services from his current position as President of Retirement Plan Services. Walt will continue to report to me.

This wasn't an easy decision for me or for Gerald. In Gerald's second stint at Schwab, I hired him in 1989 as the Southern California sales manager for what was then a very small Advisor business. Gerald advanced to lead our Western Division Advisor sales and relationship management professionals, and then the entire national sales team. In September 2000, we appointed him Chief Operating Officer of our current business. Throughout those years, he has been your tireless advocate, both within Schwab and externally, in the media and in the financial services industry at large.

I hope you can see why - given Gerald's experience with institutional relationships, his entrepreneurial spirit and his proven ability to deliver on client needs - I would need to tap his talents in this new area.

I was able to make this change because of the strength and experience of the Services for Investment Managers (SIM) team. Debby McWhinney, SIM President, has brought fresh and innovative thinking. Bernie Clark continues to head Trading and Operations. Nick Georgis continues to head Sales and Relationship Management. They are joined by key recent additions to Debby's team including Myra Rothfeld (head of Marketing), Josh Rymer (head of Strategy), and David Peck (head of our Virtual Office initiative and Performance Technologies). Thanks to the work of her team, our company is making its biggest investments ever in the Advisor business.

I hope you will extend to Gerald your congratulations on his exciting role. At the same time, you can remain confident that our commitment to your business has never been stronger.

With every best wish for the New Year,

John Philip Coghlan
Vice Chairman
The Charles Schwab Corporation
 

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