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Portfolio > Asset Managers

A Very Good Year for Charles Schwab

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Reaping the benefits of company-wide cost cutting, Charles Schwab Corporation announced Jan. 18 record annual net income of $725 million in 2005 on revenue up 6% to $4.4 billion. CFOP Christopher Dodds pointed out in a statement that the company “exceeded all of our primary financial objectives” during the year, posting a 26.5% pre-tax margin, earnings per share of $0.55, and a ROE of 16%, “our best performance since 2000.” Schwab Institutional and its 5,200 affiliated advisors posted some heady numbers themselves: total clients assets associated with SI rose 17% over the prior year to $406 billion, net new asset flow was the highest “since 2000,” according to SI president Deborah McWhinney, and the number of end client accounts–those opened on behalf of SI advisors–grew 6%, or 100,000 accounts. McWhinney said the growth reflects advisors gaining wallet share of existing clients and the addition of large new client accounts. While the amount of new client assets coming through the Schwab Advisor Network referral program declined 3% in the fourth quarter to $1.7 billion, McWhinney said that the close rate on referrals to the 330 firms in the referral network had risen, reflecting that “the branches have done a better job of identifying the right clients” for advisors in the Network. One of her priorities for this year, McWhinney said, is to help bring to advisors “the discipline that we brought to compliance to business development.” A specific program to do just that is under development, McWhinney said.