Charles Schwab names new European chief

Does he know what he's letting himself in for?...

Does he know what he's letting himself in for?...

Online and discount brokerage Charles Schwab has named Craig Walling, of personal finance firm ZonaFinaciera.com, as its new head of Europe. He replaces Bob Duste, who is returning to the firm's US headquarters. Walling will have to work quickly to stem the decline in online trading, which has led to poor sales and inevitable lay-offs at the firm. In April, Schwab axed 200 European jobs, adding to the 3,000 layoffs in the US during the previous month - a direct consequence of the stock market slowdown. On 15 August, Schwab announced its commission-generating trading activity had dropped 40 per cent from July 2000, and was continuing to slow in August. Schwab derives about 30 per cent of its revenue from commissions on customer stock trades. Earlier this month, reports suggested Schwab was involved in talks over a $1bn plus purchase of securities firm Jefferies Group.