Joseph's Feed
Feb 2, 2012

Schwab to reimburse clients arbitration fees-CEO

Feb 2 (Reuters) – The head of Charles Schwab Corp
(SCHW.N: Quote, Profile, Research) on Thursday said the company will reimburse customers
for arbitration fees in cases they file against the brokerage
while a California federal court sorts out a legal dispute
related to a regulatory action involving the company.

“We have a fundamental disagreement” with the Financial
Industry Regulatory Authority, said chief executive Walt
Bettinger during a winter business update for institutional
investors and analysts.

Feb 2, 2012

Schwab says earnings can grow if rates stay flat

By Joseph A. Giannone

(Reuters) – While stock prices rallied last month, small investors remain wary of jumping back into the market after years of turbulence, Charles Schwab Corp Chief Executive Walter Bettinger told investors and analysts Thursday.

As the largest online brokerage and a firm built on smaller investors, Schwab is a barometer for how most Americans feel about taking risk in the markets.

Feb 2, 2012

Schwab client-waiver spurs FINRA complaint

By Joseph A. Giannone and Suzanne Barlyn

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s own watchdog filed a complaint against Charles Schwab Corp on Wednesday accusing the online brokerage of requiring customers to waive their rights to pursue class actions against the firm, a violation of industry rules.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority alleged that San Francisco-based Schwab added a new provision in October to more than 6.8 million customer account agreements that would preclude them from starting or joining class-action lawsuits against the brokerage, according to FINRA’s complaint.

Feb 1, 2012

Focus Financial credit line to fuel more big deals

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Focus Financial Partners, a nearly $50 billion wealth manager consolidating investment advisory firms across the United States, obtained a bank credit line of as much as $320 million to fund more takeovers and hires.

Since its launch in 2006, Focus has used capital from private equity and other investors to acquire 23 investment adviser teams, building a national firm in what remains a highly fragmented industry.

Jan 31, 2012

Raymond James looks to woo Morgan Keegan advisers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Regional brokerage Raymond James Financial is hoping that Morgan Keegan’s 1,000 financial advisers value its culture and reputation for catering to brokers more than big bucks as it pursues the biggest takeover in its 50-year history.

Raymond James on January 11 agreed to pay $930 million for a combination that would create the No. 6 U.S. brokerage, a bold acquisition whose long-term financial success will be judged largely on how many advisers stick around. [ID:nL1E8CBIC6]

Jan 19, 2012

Merrill, Morgan Stanley brokerage results sag

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley Smith Barney continues to lose ground to rival Merrill Lynch, and both brokerages suffered declines in revenue and client assets in the fourth quarter amid choppy markets.

Bank of America (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday said Merrill Lynch wealth management revenue fell 2 percent from a year earlier to $3.21 billion in the quarter, while total client balances — assets, loans and cash — fell less than 1 percent to $1.50 trillion.

Jan 18, 2012

UBS adds $2.5 million Smith Barney team in Washington

NEW YORK, Jan 18 (Reuters) – UBS AG (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) hired a
team of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney brokers in Washington, D.C.
who generated $2.5 million of revenue in the past year.

Joining the Swiss bank’s U.S. brokerage arm last Friday were
Anthony Connor and Bryon Fusini, who oversaw client assets of
$330 million, according to Glenn Taylor, whose California
recruiting firm advised on the move.

Jan 17, 2012

Wells Fargo brokerage unit hit by trading slowdown

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A slowdown in trading by individual investors put a dent in Wells Fargo & Co’s fourth-quarter brokerage results, the largest U.S. bank by market value said on Tuesday.

Wells Fargo Advisors said its client assets fell 3 percent to $1.13 trillion during an exceptionally choppy 2011, when the benchmark S&P 500 Index ended the year unchanged. U.S. stocks rose 11 percent during the fourth quarter, but Standard & Poor’s Friday downgrade of nine European nations shows that financial markets are still treading thin ice.

Jan 12, 2012

Analysis: Raymond James deal has investors looking for more

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Brokerage Raymond James Financial Inc (RJF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is taking a rare swing for the fences with its move to acquire Southeast rival Morgan Keegan, yet investors worry the $1.2 billion takeover won’t translate to big gains until markets rebound.

The Florida-based regional brokerage known for its conservatism landed its biggest ever deal on Wednesday, outlasting rivals and private equity firms in an auction that lasted nearly seven months. Raymond James , led by CEO Paul Reilly, also is set to create the largest investment bank and brokerage outside Wall Street.

Jan 12, 2012

Raymond James to buy brokerage Morgan Keegan

By Rick Rothacker and Joseph Giannone

(Reuters) – Raymond James Financial Inc (RJF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday it agreed to acquire Southeast investment bank and brokerage Morgan Keegan from Regions Financial Corp (RF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $930 million in stock, concluding a drawn-out auction for the unit.

For Raymond James, it was the largest acquisition it has ever made and a chance to expand both its brokerage and capital markets business at a bargain price.