Schwab Boosts Global-Investing Platform With Broadridge Deal

Partnership will allow Schwab to offer clients more foreign-equity and currency-markets access

Charles Schwab said Wednesday it is enhancing its global-investment offerings through a partnership with Broadridge Financial Solutions. In early 2012, Schwab says it will introduce technology that lets clients trade in 12 markets and eight currencies.

Broadridge will provide the technology needed to support currency trade processing, accounting and reporting.

In the fall of 2010, Schwab added services that let clients trade over-the-counter (OTC) foreign stocks much more easily. The firm says this trading grew by more than 300% in the first quarter of 2011 vs. the same period last year.

“As our clients continue to take a broader world view with their portfolios and their long-term goals, we want to be sure they have a platform that lets them access global markets seamlessly, and houses research, tools and guidance that enable them to become more confident and successful investors,” said Brian McDonald, senior vice president of active investor and core client experience at San Francisco-based Schwab, in a press release.

In the second quarter, for instance, the MSCI EAFE Index rose 1.6% in dollars, while the U.S.-focused Russell 1000 Index ticked up just 0.12%, according to Prima Capital analyst Nathan Beham.

Schwab says it currently offers country and sector-based research for investors and will soon introduce further guidance, such as global macro-economic and currency commentary from both Schwab and third-party experts. It also plans to roll out round-the-clock customer service and support for international trading of both equities and currencies.

“Broadridge is pleased to be able to work with a respected firm like Schwab to create a best-in-class global trading experience for its clients,” said Joseph Barra, president of international securities processing and global outsourcing solutions at Lake Success, N.Y.-based Broadridge, in a statement. “Our technology and operations business-process outsourcing expertise will help Schwab establish its platform as a truly international investing destination with both trading and custody capabilities.”

Schwab has more than 300 offices, 8.1 million client-brokerage accounts and $1.7 trillion in client assets.

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