NU Online News Service, June 20, 11:15 a.m. – Charles Schwab & Company Inc., San Francisco, has introduced the Schwab Signature annuity, a variable annuity aimed at independent investment advisors as well as customers who work with its own sales reps.

Schwab also introduced a new annuity account Web site for individual investors and advisors. Clients can use the new system, powered by AnnuityNet Inc., Leesburg, Va., to buy and manage their annuities online.

“As a firm, Schwab has warned investors that high-fee, annuity products sold by brokers or insurance agents create a conflict of interest because of the large commissions they generate,” says Rob Klapper, general manager of Charles Schwab Insurance Services. “With the Schwab Signature Annuity and Schwab Select Annuity, we are bringing our client-focused approach to investing to the variable annuity product. Our new products will expand services to annuity investors and lower costs.”

The Schwab Signature Annuity is issued by Great West Life and Annuity Company of Denver, Colo.

Schwab also offers another annuity, the Schwab Select Annuity.

The Signature product comes without surrender charges, contract fees or charges for transfers, Schwab says.

The VA provides access to 30 annuity portfolios from 18 mutual fund families

Clients can apply for an annuity online and use the new annuity Web site to manage the annuity at any time of the day or night, Schwab says.

Financial advisors working with Schwab can use the annuity site to set up clients?f accounts, organize accounts, analyze data and make trades for multiple clients with a single order, the company says.