The Charles Schwab Corporation

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The Charles Schwab Corporation
Founded 1971
Headquarters San Francisco, CA
Key People Charles R. Schwab, Founder and Chairman of the Board
Employees 13, 800
Products Financial services

The Charles Schwab Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHW) is a savings and loan holding company and a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and around 10.8 million client brokerage accounts, 1.6 million corporate retirement plan participants, 1.2 million banking accounts, and $3.36 trillion in client assets. Through its subsidiaries, it provides wealth management, securities brokerage, banking, asset management, custody, and financial advisory services.

It is regulated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Its business subsidiaries include:

  • Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (CS&Co), incorporated in 1971, a securities broker-dealer with over 345 domestic branch offices in 46 states, as well as a branch in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In addition, Schwab serves clients in England, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia through various subsidiaries;
  • Charles Schwab Bank (Schwab Bank), a federal savings bank; and
  • Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (CSIM), the investment advisor for Schwab’s proprietary mutual funds and Schwab’s exchange-traded funds.[1]

The company provides financial services to individuals and institutional clients through two segments, Investor Services and Advisor Services.

The Investor Services segment provides retail brokerage and banking services to individual investors and retirement plan services, as well as other corporate brokerage services, to businesses and their employees. The Advisor Services segment provides custodial, trading, banking, and support services, as well as retirement business services, to independent registered investment advisors (RIAs), independent retirement advisors, and recordkeepers.

Charles Schwab stepped down as CEO in 2008 and the board elected Walter W. Bettinger II as its new chief executive. Schwab stayed on as chairman.[2]

In November 2011, the Company acquired Compliance11, Inc. In September 2012, GAIN Capital Holdings Inc. acquired Open E Cry, LLC. In December 2012, the Company acquired ThomasPartners, Inc.[3]


The corporation started out as a discount retail brokerage in 1975 and has grown over the years to join the ranks of money-management behemoths such as Fidelity Investments, BlackRock, and Vanguard Group.[4]

It was acquired by Bank of America in 1983. Charles Schwab bought it back in 1987 and two months later took it public.[5] It was incorporated in 1986.

Schwab introduced Schwab Funds money market mutual funds in 1990.

In 2012 Schwab began offering an index-fund-only 401(k) option for companies seeking a lower-cost retirement savings option for employees.[6]

In 2013 it launched an ETF platform offering commission-free ETFs.

The company eliminated all fees on U.S. stocks, ETFs, and options in October of 2019.[7]

Products and Services[edit]

The Charles Schwab Corporation provides brokerage, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), portfolio management advice, checking and savings accounts and home equity lines of credit, and trust custody services.

Key People[edit]