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Rating:Dilsaver Reveals Schwab Funds' Biggest Secret Not Rated 2.8 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, June 07, 2007

Dilsaver Reveals Schwab Funds' Biggest Secret

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Evelyn Dilsaver, president & CEO of Schwab Investment Management, interviewed by MFWire reporter Armie Margaret Lee at the W Hotel in New York City Thursday morning

Schwab Funds portfolio managers gave a command performance for about two score reporters gathered at the W Hotel in midtown Manhattan Thursday morning. The San Francisco brokerage firm used the press briefing to formally debut its recently-launched REIT fund advised by just-acquired Global Real Analytics (Schwab Funds closed on its acquisition of the money manager on January 1). Schwab executives also revealed plans to add to the fund firm's lineup in the next year.

Evelyn Dilsaver, president and CEO of Schwab Investment Management, also used the meeting to build awareness with the media of Schwab Funds and the Laudus Group and share some of the fund group's plans for the future.

"We are probably the best kept secret inside Schwab," she confided to the gathered reporters during her opening comments. She added that few Schwabies were even aware that the brokerage firm offered stock and bond funds when she assumed leadership of the group, but that clients and advisors knew of the offerings.

"We were the best kept secret -- except with our clients," Dilsaver added.

Schwab has managed funds since 1989, but has been shy about offering products that compete with its fund partners who offer their wares through the OneSource supermarket. Its first fund was a money market fund and it was not until January 1991 that it launched its initial index fund. Schwab offered its first active funds at the turn of the century and did not form its Laudus Group to actively market them until it purchased Axa Rosenberg in 2004.

Most recently, Schwab Funds acquired Global Real Analytics (GRA), an applied real estate analytics and commercial real estate index. Dilsaver turned that acquisition into the firm's hottest fund launch when the Schwab Global Real Estate Fund raised $257 million during its subscription period following its May launch. All counted, Schwab Funds now manages some $200 billion in assets, including $60 billion in its fixed income and equity funds. That ranks Schwab Funds at number 11 on the FRC list of largest fund managers, Dilsaver pointed out.

The growth does not come just from the adopted Axa Rosenberg funds and the new real estate fund. Schwab Funds also launched a family of three funds based on "fundamental indexes" licensed from Pasadena, California-based Research Affiliates that have been well received by the market. Well enough received that Dilsaver confirmed Schwab plans to add to the family in the near future.

"We are talking to Rob [Arnott] about an enhanced fundamental index," Dilsaver confirmed. That fund will likely take the form of an enhanced fundemental index and is being prepped for a launch sometime in the first quarter of 2008, she confided.

Schwab Funds tapped SunStar -- an Alexandria, Virginia based marketing firm -- to organize the event that was attended by about two score reporters.

"It was the most interest we have received from reporters for an event like this," said Kathryn Morrison, president and CEO of Sunstar. She added that the reputation Schwab's portfolio managers have built with the press for providing useful insights is the likely cause of the high turnout.  

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