SAN FRANCISCO - Charles Schwab & Co. has launched a multimedia Web site to introduce the company to new prospects.

SchwabWelcome.com is designed to emulate the type of experience prospective clients have when visiting a branch. Potential clients are greeted by the voice of Mr. Schwab himself, who encourages them to customize their tour of the site by selecting an investor profile: beginning investor, active trader, retirement ahead, women investor, and affluent investor.

After making a selection, visitors are presented with specific investment strategies and tools for meeting the goals of the profile. They can choose whether to continue with the audio tour as they view information about accounts, sample investment planning tools, request more information via e-mail, and open an account online.

"Our goal was to offer a more comfortable, intuitive environment in which to learn about investing," said Joshua Rymer, senior vice president, customer acquisition and business development. "We wanted our Web site to truly reflect the personal aspect of the Schwab client experience."

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