Andrew Salesky, senior vice president of Schwab’s new Independent Branch Services program, told AdvisorOne on Tuesday that the firm’s objective with the new franchising initiative is to continue the mass affluent strategy of its existing branches.
“We’re not changing our strategic focus in anyway,” says Salesky (left), who reports directly to founder and chairman Charles Schwab and Schwab president and CEO Walt Bettinger. “We feel this is a good way to have a presence in geographic locations in which we’ve traditionally had a small presence.”
The idea of franchising is one that has frequently been raised at the company, he says. After years of periodically discussing the idea, the company feels “the time is right” to allow independent advisors to truly take advantage of the Schwab brand and breadth of product offerings.
“We were pleasantly surprised at the level of support we’ve received from our own branch managers, as well as our independent advisor partners on the Schwab Advisor Services platform,” Salesky says, when asked about pushback from existing branch managers. “They realize that an opportunity like this to enhance the Schwab brand benefits us all.”
The company is planning to have between five to 10 branches open by the end of the 2011, and has significantly upgraded its online and PR promotion to help make that happen. Salesky says qualified candidates will have financial services experience and strong ties to their local communities.