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Schwab Aims to Buy USAA Brokerage Business: Report

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Charles Schwab is trying to purchase USAA’s brokerage and wealth management business, according to a report Monday in the Wall Street Journal. Schwab is said to be offering about $2 billion for the unit, which includes some $100 billion of assets.

The news comes on the heels of USAA’s sale of its asset-management business, including mutual funds, ETF operations and 529 plans, to Victory Capital. These activities encompassed about $81 billion of assets.

Schwab does “not to comment on market rumors or speculation,” according to a spokesperson. USAA’s press office said it “is not commenting on the WSJ story.”

The development also emerges just a few months after Schwab rolled out a subscription-based advice service that attracted $1 billion in new assets under management since its introduction.

“This is more fuel for the pitchforks-and-torches crowd that is worried about Schwab competing directly with advisors,” said Tim Welsh, head of the consulting group Nexus Strategy and a former Schwab executive.

While San Francisco-based Schwab has some $3.5 trillion in client assets and is publicly traded, USAA is privately held and has its headquarters in San Antonio.

USAA focuses on providing insurance, banking and related services to 12.8 military clients and their relatives, who consistently rate it at the top of J.D. Power customer-service rankings for firms serving self-directed investors. It has 34,000 employees worldwide, about 19,000 of whom are in San Antonio. 


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