During a recent Schwab Tech Talk webinar, Kevin Kraus, director of trading technology for Schwab Advisor Services, provided an update on the company's efforts to update their advisor trading platform.

According to Kraus, the production version of the new platform, scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2013, is already in early beta testing. "Some advisors are already trading off of this platform", he said.

There are three major areas of focus in the new trading platform design. One is upgrading the underlying technology. The new trading platform will be built in Microsoft .NET, bringing it into alignment with the rest of the Schwab Advisor Center. One benefit of this change will be the ability to fully integrate the trading functionality into Schwab Advisor Center. Currently, trading is a separate application that advisors must launch from within Schwab Advisor Center. The second is redesigned workflows. The new application offers a redesigned order entry process that provides traders with additional information and functionality on a single screen. The third is new technologies, such as the ability to trade at the position level from within the application, which is not simple to do with the current system.

One capability that will be lacking in the immediate future is mobile trading. "It is on our technology roadmap, but it is not one of our highest priorities," said Adam Moseley, managing director of Technology Consulting for Schwab Advisor Services.

-Joel Bruckenstein