Investors are continuing to pour money into Charles Schwab Corp.'s advisor channel, officials of the big discount broker indicate. But Schwab's U.S. Trust unit is also becoming a major destination for wealthier Schwab clients who want help with their investments.
According to Investor Relations Director Rich Fowler, Schwab logged 5,400 AdvisorSource referrals in the first quarter, with average client assets of $1 million apiece. Of the 5,400, the program referred 450 investors, with average assets of $7 million each, to U.S. Trust. The "emerging affluent and mid-tier affluent investor," with assets of $500,000 to $3 million, is a key market for U.S. Trust, Fowler says. "U.S. Trust has tremendous skills and resources in serving high-net-worth clients as well as this emerging middle tier." Indeed, the average account in Schwab's advisor channel is worth $225,000, officials say.
Fowler notes that U.S. Trust, on its own and, in some cases, via independent advisors, wants to address clients' credit needs as well as their investments. That could include offering home mortgages and other loans. "U.S. Trust's model is to get the entire relationship: the lending side is part of that," he says.