The past year has been a strong one for the Schwab Advisor Network, to put it mildly. The company announced January 29 that assets under management in the referral network have increased 341% over 2002′s totals to $7.9 billion. In fact, the fourth quarter of 2003 set a record of $1.8 billion in new assets–an increase of 120% over 2002′s fourth quarter.

Advisors in Schwab’s Advisor Network, which consists of about 325 independent advisor firms, must have, among other qualifications, a minimum of $50 million in assets under management, two principal partners, and staff with “a minimum of seven years of experience managing securities portfolios as a primary occupation,” according to a company statement. New client referrals increased by 113% in 2003, and the number of conversions, referring to those referrals who actually became clients of advisors in the network, were up by 193%.

Edie Heilman, the senior VP who runs Schwab Advisor Network, said in a prepared statement that the growth “highlights how far we have come and how well the concept” of the referral network works in helping advisors grow their business.