Careers at Charles Schwab

Mission

Charles Schwab provides a range of banking and non-banking financial services to individual and commercial customers, notably providing lending and investment services with a view to helping customers effectively manage their finances.

Business segments

Charles Schwab organises its business activities into two core operating segments:

  • Investor Services, which provides retail brokerage and banking services, retirement plan services, and other corporate brokerage services; and
  • Advisor Services, which provides custodial, trading, and support services as well as retirement business services.

History

Charles Schwab has its roots in an investment advisory newsletter Investment Indicator, which was launched in 1963 by Chuck Schwab (“Schwab”) and two partners. They formally incorporated their business in 1971 under the name First Commander Corporation, operating initially as a subsidiary of Commander Industries. Schwab, however, acquire all of the Company’s stock in 1972 and changed the Company’s name to Charles Schwab and Company.

Charles Schwab began to expand its operations during the 1970s and early 1980s, establishing an office in Seattle and setting up the industry’s first 24-hour quotation service. The Company was acquired in 1983 by Bank of America for $55 million, but was sold in 1987 in a $280 million management buyout led by Schwab. During the 1990s, Charles Schwab continued to grow, establishing an online presence and extending its brokerage network, as well establishing Schwab Bank in 2003.

Charles Schwab currently operates around 325 domestic branches, as well as branches in London and Puerto Rico, and employs a workforce of more than 15,000 employees. The Company is ranked 350th in the Forbes Global 2000 lists and is placed 401st in the Fortune 500 list. Charles Schwab trades shares on the New York Stock Exchange and has a current market capitalisation of $40.91 billion.

Why work at Charles Schwab

Customer Segments

Charles Schwab provides a range of financial services to individuals and institutional clients. This includes:

  • Individuals, including those seeking to invest in retirement plans, access investment schemes, secure lending, and obtain financial advisory services, as well as high-net-worth clients requiring wealth management services; and
  • Corporations, including businesses across multiple sectors, which require corporate banking, trading, and portfolio management services, as well as financial business solutions.

Charles Schwab operates almost exclusively in the US, serving a broad range of domestic customers. It also has a presence in the UK, Puerto Rico and Hong Kong; these jurisdictions, however, do not account for a substantial portion of the Company’s customers.

Value Propositions

Charles Schwab provides value to its customers in the following ways:

  • Its industry standing and reputation, with the Company commanding a positive reputation within the industry, having a track record as a reliable and effective operator, and with its services carrying with them a degree of prestige;
  • Its technical expertise and experience, with the Company employing highly-trained, specialist personnel across its two operating segments, and appointing experienced and knowledgeable industry executives;
  • Its customer service and personal care, with the Company working closely with its clients, discussing options and risks directly and tailoring services to the client’s requirements; and
  • Its broad range of investment products and financial services, with the Company providing various financial services that serve a broad range of individual and commercial customers.

Channels

Charles Schwab operates a website at www.schwab.com, through which it provides information on its various products and services, and corporate activities. The Company provides a range of online services to customers, including online access to certain foreign equity markets, largely through its OptionsXpress platform. The Company also offers a mobile application for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire users, which provides much of the same functionality.

Charles Schwab makes the majority of its sales through its own team of financial consultants operating out of the Company’s network of US branches. The Company additionally provides services over the phone through staff working at its regional telephone centres. Charles Schwab’s own internal sales and consulting teams are supported by a number of independent investment advisors, who are authorised to provide services on the Company’s behalf.

Customer Relationships

Charles Schwab offers a range of services to customers on a self-service basis through its online OptionsXpress platform and its mobile applications. These channels allow customers to perform certain functions – including trading stocks, tracking prices, making deposits, and managing transaction histories – without interacting directly with members of the Charles Schwab team.

Much of the Company’s services are provided directly to customers through its in-branch and telephone staff, who seek to establish and maintain long-standing client relationships. The Company provides substantial personal care to its clients, including investment advice and risk information, discussing all options and requirements with clients on an ongoing basis. Customers are able to contact the members of their own Charles Schwab advisors over the phone or via email, or can contact the Company more generally with issues and enquiries over the phone and through an online chat service.

Charles Schwab provides its customers with a range of online learning and research resources through its Insights portal, which includes commentary on sticks, markets, options and international trading trends. It also organises online and in-branch workshops to help customers get the most out of its products and services.

Customers can additionally interact directly with the Company through its social media accounts, including with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+.

Key Activities

Charles Schwab operates principally as a savings and loan holding company.

Through its subsidiaries it is engaged in wealth management, securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services. The Company’s operations are divided into two business segments: Investor Services, comprising the Company’s provision of retail brokerage and banking services, retirement plan services, and other corporate brokerage services; and Advisor Services, comprising the Company’s provision of custodial, trading, and support services, as well as retirement business services.

Charles Schwab’s subsidiary companies include Charles Schwab and Co, Charles Schwab Bank, and Charles Schwab Investment Management.

Key Partners

Charles Schwab has a number of partners, which support and extend the Company’s own product and service offerings. These partnerships include:

  • Distribution Partners, comprising various third-parties, such as independent financial advisors, that are authorised to provide certain services to customers on the Company’s behalf;
  • External Service Providers, comprising a range of service providers to which the Company outsources a range of technology, processing, servicing, and support functions; and
  • Strategic and Alliance Partners, comprising a range of companies form a variety of sectors, with which the Company shares tools and resources and collaborates on joint projects.

Charles Schwab has agreed a number of recent partnerships. In 2014 it agreed a deal with Hunter Pence to promote the Company’s brand. It also has a marketing partnership with PGA Tour that is set to last 20 years, and has collaborated with American Express on the development of the card company’s new Platinum Card.

Key Resources

Charles Schwab’s key resources are its financial resources, its technology and communications infrastructure – including its mobile and online platforms, its sales and distribution channels – including its physical branch network, its partnerships, and its personnel.

Charles Schwab operates a network of 325 domestic branches across 45 states, as well as single branches in the UK and Puerto Rico. Additionally, the Company has a presence in Hong king through one of its subsidiary companies.

Searches of records published by the US Patent and Trademark Office identified on patent application filed in the name of Charles Schwab and Company, entitled ‘System and method for receiving services provided by distributed systems’. The Company, however, does not appear to consider its patents to be material to its operations.

Cost Structure

Charles Schwab incurs costs in relation to the operation and maintenance of its technology and communications infrastructure, the operation of its sales and marketing channels, the management of its partnerships, the implementation of marketing and advertising campaigns, the payment of professional fees and use of vendor services, and the retention of its personnel.

In 2015 Charles Schwab accrued costs in relation to the payment of compensation and benefits to the Company’s 15,300 employees in the amount of $2.24 billion. The Company’s professional services fees totalled $459 million for the year, its occupancy and equipment costs amounted to $353 million, and its advertising and market development costs were $249 million.

Revenue Streams

Charles Schwab generates revenue through its provision of various banking and non-banking financial services, including investment advisory, retail brokerage, trading, and retirement plan services. The Company’s revenue is derived from administrative fees and commissions associated with these services, the accrual of interest, and trading activities.

In 2015 Charles Schwab generated $6.38 billion in annual net revenue, up marginally on the $6.06 billion recorded by the Company in the previous year. The collection of asset management and administration fees accounted for 41% of the Company’s 2015 revenue, with trading revenue representing 14%. Net interest earned accounted for 40% of total revenue, with the remaining revenue made up by the Company’s other business operations that do not fit into the activities of the Company’s two core business segments.

Benefits at Charles Schwab

Business model of Charles Schwab

Walt Bettinger (President and Chief Executive Officer)

Walt Bettinger (“Bettinger”) has served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Charles Schwab since 2008.

Bettinger is a long-serving Charles Schwab employee, having joined the Company in 1995 as President of Corporate and Retirement Services, the first of several senior leaderships roles, which have included Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Investor Services, and President of Investor Services.

Bettinger began his career in 1982, working in the Pension department of Westfield Group of Companies. He founded Hampton Pension Services in 1983, serving in several roles, including President and Chief Executive Officer.

Joseph Martinetto (Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer)

Joseph Martinetto (“Martinetto”) has served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Charles Schwab since 2007.

Martinetto joined Schwab in 1997 as Senior Vice President and Treasurer. He held several senior roles at the Company before assuming his current position, including spells as Senior Vice President of Retail Finance and Head of Financial Planning and Analysis and Management Information Systems.

Martinetto began his career in 1984 with First Interstate Bancorp, where he held a variety of positions, including time as Vice President and Manager of Long-Term Funding and as Senior Vice President and Manager of the Asset and Liability Management department. Prior to joining Schwab, Martinetto served as Senior Assistant Treasurer at Transamerica Corporation and Senior Vice President of Transamerica Finance Corporation.

Dennis Howard (Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer)

Dennis Howard (“Howard”) has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Schwab Technology Services since 2014, taking responsibility for Charles Schwab’s technology innovation, development, infrastructure and operations.

Howard began his career in 1993 as a legislative assistant in the US House of Representatives. He held several roles within government before joining DA Consulting Group in 1998 as an operations manager. He worked briefly as a project manager at Globeset in 1999 before joining Commerce One as Senior Manager of Global Services that same year.

In 2002 he joined Visa, where he held a number of roles, including spells as Vice President of Global Systems and Senior Vice President of Global Business and Platform Solutions. Prior to joining Schwab, Howard served as Visa’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

Our team

Walt Bettinger,
President and Chief Executive Officer

info: Walt (“Bettinger”) has served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Charles Schwab since 2008. Bettinger is a long-serving Charles Schwab employee, having joined the Company in 1995 as President of Corporate and Retirement Services, the first of several senior leaderships roles, which have included Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Investor Services, and President of Investor Services. Bettinger began his career in 1982, working in the Pension department of Westfield Group of Companies. He founded Hampton Pension Services in 1983, serving in several roles, including President and Chief Executive Officer.

Joseph Martinetto,
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

info: Joseph (“Martinetto”) has served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Charles Schwab since 2007. Martinetto joined Schwab in 1997 as Senior Vice President and Treasurer. He held several senior roles at the Company before assuming his current position, including spells as Senior Vice President of Retail Finance and Head of Financial Planning and Analysis and Management Information Systems. Martinetto began his career in 1984 with First Interstate Bancorp, where he held a variety of positions, including time as Vice President and Manager of Long-Term Funding and as Senior Vice President and Manager of the Asset and Liability Management department. Prior to joining Schwab, Martinetto served as Senior Assistant Treasurer at Transamerica Corporation and Senior Vice President of Transamerica Finance Corporation.

Dennis Howard,
Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer

info: Dennis (“Howard”) has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Schwab Technology Services since 2014, taking responsibility for Charles Schwab’s technology innovation, development, infrastructure and operations. Howard began his career in 1993 as a legislative assistant in the US House of Representatives. He held several roles within government before joining DA Consulting Group in 1998 as an operations manager. He worked briefly as a project manager at Globeset in 1999 before joining Commerce One as Senior Manager of Global Services that same year. In 2002 he joined Visa, where he held a number of roles, including spells as Vice President of Global Systems and Senior Vice President of Global Business and Platform Solutions. Prior to joining Schwab, Howard served as Visa’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

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