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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva, Greg Wind, Glenn Rossman

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Schwab Launches Suite of Investment Tools and Education Programs for Retirement Plan Advisors

Schwab Retirement Business Services (RBS), a leading service provider for retirement plan advisors and independent recordkeepers, has launched a suite of support tools and programs to help advisors meet increased demand for their services in 401(k) and other workplace retirement plans.

The suite combines sophisticated investment management tools and advanced fiduciary and plan design training to help advisors increase productivity and build their skills in this highly regulated industry. Schwab is working with recognized industry leaders fi360 and The Retirement Advisor University (TRAU™), a collaboration with UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education, to offer these comprehensive solutions.

Investment Management Support with fi360 Toolkit

Schwab and fi360 have fully integrated a customized version of the fi360 Toolkit into Schwab’s online Retirement Center. The fi360 Toolkit is a powerful, web-based software solution that provides advisors the analytical, management and reporting features needed to manage and document a prudent investment process. Fully integrating the toolkit into the Schwab platform creates a new investment management resource for retirement advisors. Specifically, the integrated interface saves advisors time and enables them to:

  • Automatically update plan and portfolio data
  • Manage client records
  • Develop, document, and track client investments
  • Develop and test asset allocations
  • Generate proposals
  • Comply with 408(b)(2) fee disclosure regulations

In addition, advisors with plans on the Schwab Retirement Center platform are eligible for a discounted licensing fee to use the fi360 toolkit.

“fi360’s sophisticated toolkit is an integral part of our commitment to helping advisors meet a fiduciary standard of care and help their clients navigate the evolving retirement landscape,” said Debbie Pritchard, RBS vice president of business development and relationship management. “By streamlining investment selection, analysis, and reporting, advisors will be able to more efficiently provide their clients with a high level of service and transparency.”

“We are excited to be working with Schwab to support retirement plan advisors with the most sophisticated fiduciary education and plan management and client reporting tools available,” said fi360 CEO Blaine Aikin. “But it is ultimately the investors on the receiving end of highly-supported, prudent fiduciary management who are the greatest beneficiaries.”

Advanced Education and Industry Designations

Schwab is collaborating with fi360 and TRAU to increase access and reduce costs for advisors seeking to build on their retirement plan expertise through advanced industry education programs.

Accredited Investment Fiduciary®

Schwab offers direct, discounted access to the training necessary to earn the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) Designation offered by fi360. The AIF designation not only broadens advisors’ professional knowledge, but also offers new business opportunities by allowing them to expand service offerings as a plan fiduciary. This designation demonstrates knowledge and competency in the area of fiduciary responsibility and communicates a commitment to standards of investment fiduciary excellence.

Certified 401(k) Professional—C(k)P™

Schwab also recommends select advisors to attend The Retirement Advisor University (TRAU) at UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education. TRAU offers the first retirement planning certification program for advisors associated with a nationally recognized institution of higher learning, the prestigious Certified 401(k) Professional designation. The designation distinguishes professionals with substantial practical retirement plan management experience who complete TRAU’s comprehensive, highly specialized retirement courses. Advisors recommended by Schwab are eligible to receive scholarships from TRAU.

Growing Demand for Advisor Knowledge and Expertise

“Regulatory requirements and heightened awareness around fiduciary responsibilities and reporting in retirement plans mean new growth opportunities for advisors,” explained Pritchard. “By integrating all of these tools and educational resources, we increase the value we deliver to advisors, better support independent recordkeepers and ultimately improve the services we provide collectively to our plan sponsor clients and their participants.”

Advisors interested in learning more should visit www.schwab.com/retirementadvisorsolutions.

About fi360

fi360 offers a comprehensive approach to investment fiduciary education, practice management and support that has established it as the go-to source for investment fiduciary insights. With substantiated practices as the foundation, fi360 offers world-class fiduciary Training/Education Tools and Resources that are essential for fiduciaries and those who provide services to fiduciaries to effectively and successfully manage their roles and responsibilities. fi360 assists those who rely on its fiduciary education programs, professional AIF® and AIFA® designations, Web-based analytical and reporting software and resources to achieve success. For more information about fi360, please visit www.fi360.com or Twitter: @fiduciary360.

About The Retirement Advisor University

TRAU™, The Retirement Advisor University, a collaboration with UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education, is the first retirement planning certification program associated with a nationally recognized institution of higher learning. Participating advisors and wholesalers can benefit by earning certification that has real meaning to plan sponsor clients, prospects, and the retirement industry as a whole. The Retirement Advisor University is a combination of onsite classes at the UCLA campus, virtual classroom courses, E-Learning and self study. By combining world class professors with retirement industry leaders, TRAU has created the most comprehensive retirement training program for financial advisors in America. Individuals attending TRAU™ are instructed by both world class UCLA Anderson faculty members, and some of the most accomplished financial advisors in the retirement plan industry. This approach combines the academic excellence and the practical applicability needed to produce a highly skilled and knowledgeable retirement plan advisor. Recognizing that access to a skilled retirement advisor is becoming increasingly critical to the average American, The Retirement Advisor University has been designed to empower financial advisors with the skill sets they need to assist their clients in retiring successfully.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.7 million active brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 815,000 banking accounts, and $1.76 trillion in client assets as of May 31, 2012. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC, www.sipc.org), and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through its Advisor Services division. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides trust and custody services, banking and mortgage services and products. Investment products offered by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or obligations of Charles Schwab Bank, and are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of principal invested. More information is available at www.schwab.com and www.aboutschwab.com. (0712-4518)

Charles Schwab Bank; Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.; Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc.; Schwab Retirement Plan Services Company; and Schwab Retirement Technologies® (Schwab RT) are separate but affiliated companies and wholly owned subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation. Brokerage products and services are offered by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Trust and custody products and services are offered by Charles Schwab Bank. Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. and Schwab Retirement Plan Services Company provide recordkeeping services with respect to retirement plans. Schwab RT is engaged in developing and licensing proprietary retirement plan recordkeeping systems to independent third-party administrators.

TRAU and fi360 are not affiliated with The Charles Schwab Corporation or any of its subsidiaries.

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