Schwab Changes Up Executive Leadership

Bernie Clark will step down as head of Schwab’s custody business, among other transitions.


Illustration by RIA Intel

On Thursday, Charles Schwab announced transitions in several executive positions, including its chief financial officer, chief operating officer, and head of Advisor Services.

Peter Crawford, who has been with the firm 22 years, will retire as Schwab’s CFO following a transition period. Crawford has held the position since 2017 and will be succeeded by Mike Verdeschi.

According to Schwab, Verdeschi will join the firm on May 20 as a managing director and deputy CFO and “will immediately assume responsibility for the company’s treasury and controller functions, as well as financial planning and analysis,” before transitioning to the CFO role. Verdeschi was most recently the treasurer of Citigroup, where he spent over 30 years of his career.

Schwab also announced that on June 28, Joe Martinetto will leave his role as chief operating officer to become the executive chairperson of the Schwab Banks. Martinetto has been at the firm more than 25 years and previously served as CFO and treasurer. He was also in charge of the conversion of former Ameritrade clients to Schwab. (Charles Schwab first announced it was planning to acquire TD Ameritrade in November 2019. The company got final approval for the deal from the Department of Justice in June 2020 and has worked to transition Ameritrade clients over to Schwab ever since.)

Schwab is not planning on filling the role of COO and instead plans to have Martinetto’s duties assumed by other leaders at the firm.

Schwab’s current head of Advisor Services, Bernie Clark, will transition to an executive advisory role at Schwab on June 28. Clark has been at the firm for more than 25 years and has led Schwab’s retail service centers as well as held the position of head of Advisor Services for almost 15 years.

In a statement sent to Schwab’s RIA custody clients today, Clark stated that “when I joined Schwab 26 years ago, I never could have imagined the journey I was embarking on, but I wouldn’t trade a single second of the experience, and much of that is due to you. I have incredible respect and admiration for what you do and how you serve, and I will continue to advocate for you and tell your story.”

As head of Schwab’s custody business, Clark led the firm from $650 billion in assets custodied on behalf of advisors to about $4 trillion today.

Schwab said it expects to name Jon Beatty, the current COO of Advisor Services, as Clark’s replacement. Beatty is also expected to join the firm’s Executive Council. Tom Bradley, currently a managing director for Advisor Services, will become the chief client officer for Advisor Services and will report to Beatty.

Schwab said that these transitions reflected management’s expectations to date and “achievement of these expectations and objectives is subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially.”

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