Charles Schwab Preps For New CFO

Discount broker Charles Schwab has hired 33-year Citi veteran Mike Verdeschi as managing director and deputy CFO. Following a transition period, Schwab, which also offers investment management and banking services, plans to promote Verdeschi to CFO when incumbent Peter Crawford retires after 23 years with the firm.

Verdeschi has spent the last seven years as Citi’s treasurer, in which capacity he managed a $2 trillion balance sheet, centralized treasury activities and revamped governance. When he succeeds Crawford, his remits will include heading treasury and control functions, financial planning and analysis, investor relations, corporate development and strategy, vendor management and corporate real estate.

“Peter’s leadership has been central to Schwab’s evolution as one of the nation’s largest investment services firms,” Schwab co-chairman and CEO Walt Bettinger said in making the announcement. “We are also fortunate to have a seasoned executive with Mike Verdeschi’s experience join us to lead our disciplined approach to financial and balance sheet management as we lay the groundwork for Schwab’s continued growth and success.”

The announcement comes as Schwab completes the final stages of its $26 billion acquisition of online broker TD Ameritrade. In May, it moved the last roughly 1.8 million Ameritrade accounts to Schwab, representing some $350 billion in assets.

Verdeschi finds himself in an apparently stable environment at his new employer. Despite reporting a -7.35 % growth rate and a 0.26% return on assets at the end of the first quarter, Schwab once again beat Wall Street’s earnings consensus, this time by a penny. The firm also achieved a 3.85% return on equity and a solid net margin of 26.39%, each above the industry average. “The final part of the Ameritrade cost synergies remain on track for 2H24, setting up 2025 for another period of no- to low-expense growth,” Kenneth Worthington, stock analyst at J.P. Morgan, predicted in a note.