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Schwab Completes Motif Deal, Adds Staffing Info for RIAs

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Schwab sign (Photo: AP)

Charles Schwab has wrapped up its purchase of Motif Investing’s technology and intellectual property for an undisclosed price. It’s also introduced an online resource center to help RIAs hire next-gen and other staff. 

These developments come about three weeks after the Justice Department  and shareholders   approved Schwab’s $26 billion acquisition of TD Ameritrade, a deal that is expected to close by year-end. They also take place a month after Schwab completed its $1.8 billion acquisition of USAA’s brokerage business, which included nearly $80 billion of client assets. 

“We intend to leverage Motif’s platform to build on Schwab’s existing capabilities and help accelerate our development of thematic and direct indexing solutions for Schwab’s retail investors and RIA clients … ,” said Chief Digital Office Neesha Hathi, when news of the Motif deal broke last month.

Two days before Schwab announced it was buying Motif and hiring its staff, including founder and CEO Hardeep Walia, the brokerage giant said it would soon let retail investors buy partial, or fractional, shares of S&P 500 companies  through a program it called Schwab Slices. 

As for RIAs, “Independent advisors told us that the ability to trade fractional shares on behalf of their high net worth clients is not a critical capability,” the firm explained in a statement at the time.

More Schwab News

In a move designed to support its RIA clients, Schwab has opened an online Talent Resource Center, which it hopes will help advisors both looking to hire employees with diverse backgrounds and adjusting their work arrangements due to the pandemic and other factors. 

“It’s increasingly important for firms to develop teams that offer a range of perspectives, experiences and backgrounds. And … firms that have a flexible approach to workplace location and schedules have a definite advantage in attracting the new generation of workers,” said Nikolee Turner head of business consulting for Schwab Advisor Services, in a statement.

As of May 31, total client assets at Schwab were $4 trillion, up 14% from May 2019 and up 6% compared to April 2020. Assets tied to advisory services were $2.1 trillion. 

Core net new assets totaled $17.6 billion in May 2020 vs. $15.3 billion in April and $27.9 billion in March .