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Online Brokerages Flip Over Karate Icons

October 05, 2000|Bloomberg News

Stock trading as a martial art?

Charles Schwab Corp. is emulating rival TD Waterhouse Group Inc. by enlisting a kung fu fighter to help it battle for new online brokerage clients.

Schwab's CyBerCorp unit on Wednesday announced an ad campaign featuring Bruce Lee, a star of martial arts movies who died 27 years ago.

Waterhouse until last week ran a TV spot featuring actor Jackie Chan, also a karate-chopping entertainer.

CyBerCorp, which caters to frequent traders, has 7,000 accounts, up from 2,500 in 1999. Chief Executive Philip Berber, who sold the firm to Schwab in March for $683 million in stock, said the promotion is part of a plan to sign up 3,000 additional clients by year's end.

Unlike the humorous Waterhouse spot, which showed Chan evading intruders to place a trade on his laptop PC, CyBerCorp's campaign will have a contemplative tone, according to Berber.

Schwab shares (SCH) added 6 cents to $33.63 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

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