Financial services firm Charles Schwab said Thursday that it has chosen Austin as one of two sites -- along with San Francisco -- for a new arm of the company that will be focused on creating and enhancing digital products for Schwab’s clients.
The new initiative -- dubbed the Digital Accelerator team -- will be made up of "a mix of existing employees and new hires across the Austin and San Francisco locations," Schwab spokesman Peter Greenley said by email. Greenley declined to give a specific headcount for the new team in Austin, but said Schwab executives expect there will be "hundreds of employees" on the team between the two sites.
Greenly said San Francisco and Austin were chosen for the sites “ both are important technology and innovation hubs. We feel like these are the two places where we’ll be able to develop and add the tech-focused talent we need on these teams.”
"Austin offers a tremendous pool of talent for these digital roles and we believe our culture, combined with exciting work on behalf of clients, will resonate with individuals who want a meaningful career making an impact and transforming people's lives through investing," Greenley said.
Some work is already underway with the Digital Accelerator team, Greenley said.
“Schwab has a long history of challenging the status quo on behalf of investors, and technology has always been critical to better serve our clients,” Neesha Hathi, executive vice president and chief digital officer for Charles Schwab, said in a written statement. “We aim to deliver a great client experience at every touch point, so we’re accelerating our work in digital experiences that improve clients’ day-to-day interactions.”
In Austin, the Digital Accelerator team will be based on Schwab's campus at 2309 Gracy Farms Lane, near the Domain development in North Austin, Greenley said. He said Schwab has decided to construct a third building and a new parking garage on the campus. Schwab's previous plan for the campus -- which was formerly owned by IBM -- called for about 470,000 square feet of office space in a pair of five-story office buildings.
Greenley said that Schwab would be hiring in "a number of tech-focused roles for product managers, designers, developers and others." He declined to give more specifics, but said the team "will design, develop and build new client digital experiences and enhance existing experiences to deliver easy-to-use, intuitive experiences for current and future clients."
Based in San Francisco, Charles Schwab is one of the nation's largest financial services companies, with more than 16,000 employees and managing $3.3 trillion in client assets, according to the company's first-quarter earnings report.
Schwab currently has about 1,900 employees in Austin, Greenley said.
In 2014, Schwab signed incentives agreements with Travis County and the Texas governor's office promising to create 823 new jobs and make $196 million in capital investments in Austin over a 10-year period. Schwab also agreed to maintain 927 jobs already existing in Austin at the time of the agreement. If it achieved those milestones, Schwab would receive $4.5 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund and between $3.3 million and $3.6 million from Travis County.
Schwab has not yet received any incentives payments from Travis County, according to Diana Ramirez, Travis County's director of economic development and strategic investments. The company has received $1.5 million in incentives payments from the Texas Enterprise Fund for its Austin expansion, according to documents on the Texas governor's office website.
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