Charles Schwab to buy online brokerage firm optionsXpress for $1 billion

Charles Schwab Corp, the US-based banking and brokerage firm today said that it has signed a definite agreement to acquire online brokerage company optionsXpress in an all-stock deal valued at about $1 billion.

Launched in 2001 and headquartered in Chicago, optionsXpress is a pioneer in retail online brokerage services focused on equity options and futures.

Its innovative brokerage platform provides active investors and traders with trading tools, analytics and education to execute a wide variety of investment strategies. optionsXpress has consistently ranked among the top online brokerages by third-party reviewers.

As of 28 February 2011, optionsXpress had 385,200 client accounts, $8.1 billion in client assets and a 12 month average of 44,800 daily average revenue trades.

San Francisco, California-based Charles Schwab is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8 million client brokerage accounts, 1.4 million corporate retirement plan participants, 710,000 banking accounts, and $1.6 trillion in client assets.

Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors.