An office of Charles Schwab (Photo: AP)

Schwab said its Advisor Services unit has launched a new print and online ad campaign focused on independent advisors serving wealthy clients.

The firm went public with details on the ads about one week after it reported having $2.92 trillion of client assets as of March 31, a 14% year-over-year increase. About $1.48 trillion of these assets are enrolled in some form of ongoing advisory service, up $200 billion from a year ago, according to CEO Walt Bettinger.

In Schwab’s latest ads, advisors tell their growth stories and highlight their relationships with Schwab. The new campaign builds on one started last year that aimed to highlight “the benefits of independent advice among high-net-worth investors,” according to the firm.

“High-net-worth investors understand and value the benefits of customized, fiduciary advice, and there has never been a better time for advisors to consider going independent,” said Bernie Clark, head of Schwab Advisor Services, in a statement. “Independent advisors are the growth story in the advice industry today.”

One advisors who appears in the campaign is Kent Skornia, president and CEO of Krilogy Financial of St. Louis. “After launching our independent practice, we have grown from $19 million to $700 million in assets under management,” Skornia said in a statement.

Latest Results

Charles Schwab said it boosted net income 37% from a year ago to $564 million, or $0.39 per share, in the first quarter. Its net revenues grew 18% to nearly $2.1 billion. Meanwhile, its pretax profit margin hit 40.5%. These results topped analysts’ estimates.

In the first quarter, clients opened 362,000 new accounts, the highest quarterly total in 17 years for the company, excluding acquisitions, Bettinger says.

While new retail assets jumped 83% year over year, Advisor Services “attracted near-record inflows from the independent advisor clients who custody with us and achieved a 57% increase,” the CEO explained in a statement. 

“Our growing client base continues to make greater use of our contemporary wealth management capabilities, and we recently ranked highest in J. D. Power’s U.S. Full-Service Investor Satisfaction Survey for the second consecutive year,” he added.

Schwab’s Intelligent Portfolios have amassed $16 billion in assets and almost 150,000 accounts.

TD Performance

Meanwhile, rival TD Ameritrade (AMTD) said it added $19.5 billion in net new client assets in the first quarter, which represents a yearly growth rate of 10%. Total assets were $847 billion, up 19% for the year-ago period.

The company had net income of $214 million, or $0.40 per share, up about 5% from $205 million, or $0.38, a year ago. Its net revenues were $904 million, nearly 60% of which were asset-based, up for $846 million in the year-ago quarter.

“Client asset inflows hit an all-time high as investors found value in our outstanding trading platforms, innovative tools, and broad product selection,” said President & CEO Tim Hockey, in a statement. “We’re capturing money in motion and have plans firmly in place to help our industry-leading organic growth continue.”

TD Ameritrade says its level of average client trades per day was about 517,000 in the quarter ended March 31, up 2% from last year. Its pretax margin was 38.1% of net revenues, down from 39.5% in the prior quarter. Interest rate-sensitive assets were $124 billion, up 11% percent year over year.

“We expect the benefits from balance growth and higher interest rates to more than offset the financial impact of our lower commission price,” explained CFO Steve Boyle, in a press release. “Ongoing investments in cutting-edge technology that drive automation and further enhance the client experience will remain core to our strategy for the balance of the fiscal year.”