Introducing the new Schwab Advisor Network


April 21, 2021

There will be many milestones along the path to complete integration between Charles Schwab & Co. and TD Ameritrade. The journey began in October of 2020, with the official approval of the acquisition, and continues as individual programs and platforms are studied and the best of both companies are brought together to serve clients.

The latest step in the complex integration is the combination of Schwab Advisor Network (SAN) and AdvisorDirect® (AD), the prospective client referral programs for Schwab and TD Ameritrade, respectively, into a single, industry-leading network for independent registered investment advisors (RIAs). Advisors and retail branches work together in the referral networks. When evaluating the needs of a prospective client, Financial Consultants sometimes conclude the investor would be best served by an independent advisor and makes a connection to an independent firm within the network.

As with all aspects of integrating the two companies, bringing the referral networks together took careful consideration. Each participating SAN and AD firm was reviewed with an eye toward investor need and the makeup of the combined branch network footprint. And although the resulting program may look new, the focus remains the same: serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth investors in markets throughout the United States.

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“The referral programs for Schwab and TD Ameritrade have been incredibly successful both for advisors and the investors they serve. We recognize the strong advisor interest in our respective referral networks and made their integration a priority among the important work we’re doing to combine the two companies.”

Nicole Bonar, program director for Schwab Advisor Network

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“Our goal is to deliver a single program that will foster quality investor referrals for participating advisors,” says Bonar, “and we wanted the combined program to be even better than the sum of its two parts. It was apparent early in the process that there were more qualified firms than we could accommodate in a single program. We had to make some tough decisions.”

The new Schwab Advisor Network will be comprised of approximately 175 advisor firms, a total that, says Bonar, “is based less on a number than it is on finding the right combination of firms to match the unique needs of affluent investors in each market.” The evaluation process included both quantitative and qualitative measures and considered everything from expertise and capabilities, to the firm’s ability to retain and work with referred investors.

“Firms in the new network represent a great cross-section of expertise and experience,” says Bonar. “They also provide a good illustration of Schwab’s ongoing belief that independent advisors are a solution for serving HNW and UHNW investors with complex financial needs and a desire for local, personalized support.”

The Schwab Advisor Network is just one way that Schwab is committed to helping independent advisors grow and compete. Schwab also offers advisors many value-added tools and resources, including flexible, scalable technology support that combines the best of our proprietary technology platform with leading third-party solutions that enable advisors to efficiently run their business. Comprehensive consulting and practice management resources help advisors drive growth with strategic planning, marketing and referrals, client experience support and more are provided by Schwab. Schwab also champions the stories of women- and minority-led firms and helps investors connect with firms in their region through its directory

As the program integration unfolds until its anticipated completion upon final integration, Schwab Advisor Network and AdvisorDirect will continue to operate as two separate referral programs for Schwab and TDA investors. The overall integration of the two companies remains on track along the previously shared 18- to 36-month timeline from close in October 2020.


Schwab Advisor Network ("SAN") advisors are independent and are not employees or agents of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab"). Schwab prescreens advisors and checks their experience and credentials against criteria Schwab sets, such as years of experience managing investments, amount of assets managed, professional education, regulatory licensing and business relationship as a client of Schwab. Advisors pay fees to Schwab in connection with referrals. Schwab does not supervise advisors and does not prepare, verify or endorse information distributed by advisors. Investors must decide whether to hire an advisor and what authority to give the advisor. Investors, not Schwab, are responsible for monitoring and evaluating an advisor's service, performance and account transactions. Services may vary depending on which advisor an investor chooses.

Schwab Advisor ServicesTM serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading, and support services of Schwab. Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with, or supervised by Schwab.

TD Ameritrade does not endorse any independent advisor. Minimum asset level required. You will pay an advisory fee if you select to work with an independent advisor. Brokerage transactions executed through TD Ameritrade are subject to standard transaction charges. You should review the independent advisor’s Form ADV and other applicable advisor disclosure document(s). The Form ADV contains important disclosure information relative to an independent advisor’s services and fees. Independent advisors will pay TD Ameritrade fees for their participation in the AdvisorDirect program. For additional details, please review the AdvisorDirect Disclosure and Acknowledgement Document

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