Public Company Information:
TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Speaking at Schwab’s annual EXPLORE™ conference today, Bernie Clark, executive vice president and head of Schwab Advisor Services, applauded advisors for continuing to adapt in an industry undergoing immense change, while also maintaining their focus on a “fixed purpose” of helping investors achieve financial independence. Before an audience of more than 160 independent financial advisors representing some of the largest registered investment advisory firms (RIAs) in the country, Clark articulated a positive outlook for the industry, driven by strong investor attraction to the fiduciary model and opportunities presented by the $23 trillion in assets from households with more than $500K to invest currently residing outside the independent channel1. Clark re-emphasized the need to break through investor confusion by educating investors – as well as legislators, regulators and the next generation of advisor talent – about the differentiators of independent financial advice, providing details on Schwab’s latest efforts to advance the industry.
“The success of the independent fiduciary advice model has yielded changes that have forever altered the financial services landscape,” Clark noted. “Investors and advisors alike have embraced your value proposition, and you’ve continued to rise to the challenges that growth and competition bring. You continue to adapt and excel.”
As he commended advisors for their ability to attract talent, achieve scale and create sustainable businesses, Clark reminded advisors that growth opportunities remain robust. According to Schwab’s latest Independent Advisor Outlook Study (IAOS), released today, advisors share Clark’s optimism. Almost three-quarters (73%) of advisors surveyed expect to see growth over the next five years. Most also expect to see increased competition in securing new assets (66%) and feel that the need to differentiate is greater than ever (65%).
Educating investors on the value of independent advice
“In this changing world, we believe investors can be better served by a model built on a foundation of trust and service,” said Clark. “That is what independent advisors deliver and Schwab is committed to helping you meet the need to break through an increasingly competitive landscape by raising awareness of who you are and what you do.”
Clark previewed the company’s new national advertising campaign, created to raise awareness among high net worth investors of the differentiating attributes of independent advisors. Expanding on the success of the RIA Stands for You program, the new campaign significantly increases Schwab’s marketing investment on behalf of independent advisors and includes placements in major print and digital media outlets in addition to a new Independent Advisor Learning Center: www.FindYourIndependentAdvisor.com.
Meeting business challenges; championing industry interests
Clark also shared updates on other Schwab initiatives underway, including:
- Cybersecurity: Clark spoke of Schwab’s cybersecurity initiative that can help advisors better understand and navigate the risks and compliance demands stemming from cybercrime. Schwab Advisor Services’ Business Consulting Services team has held a series of educational webcasts already this year and continues to roll out a robust cybersecurity preparedness program for advisors.
- Advocacy: Schwab recently joined with advisors to participate in the Investment Adviser Association’s annual Lobbying Day in Washington, D.C., meeting with lawmakers to discuss critical issues impacting independent advisors. Clark pointed out that advocacy also means raising awareness of the industry with the next generation of talent, mentioning Schwab’s summer internship and university grants program, as well as its support for the first-ever Texas Tech University Financial Planning Academy for high school students, taking place this week.
“Advocacy means fighting for laws and regulation that make sense for you and for investors. It also means helping you shape and navigate evolving trends and challenges and helping you position the independent model as a destination of choice for investors and for advisors,” said Clark. “Attracting young talent to the industry is one more of the important ways in which we are actively working to champion independent advisor success over the long haul.”
- Support for the Foundation for Financial Planning: As part of its commitment to advocate for the independent advisor, Schwab also announced the launch of a matching-gift program to support the Foundation for Financial Planning. Through 2016, Schwab will provide a dollar-for-dollar match for every individual pledge of $5,000 and above, up to $575,000. Schwab will promote the matching program and encourage advisor participation via multiple channels, including the @Schwab4RIAs Twitter handle, using the hashtag #Advisors4Good.
“As Chair of the Foundation for Financial Planning, I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact of free, expert financial guidance for those who lack access to quality planning,” Clark said. “Financial advisors across the country donate time and money, making a real difference in the lives of others. We are proud to support this worthy mission, and we encourage the industry to join us.”
Longtime supporters of the Foundation for Financial Planning, Charles Schwab and the Charles Schwab Foundation have committed to surpassing a contribution milestone of $2 million by year-end.
About Charles Schwab
At Charles Schwab we believe in the power of investing to help individuals create a better tomorrow. We have a history of challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit investors and the advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients’ goals with passion and integrity.
Through its operating subsidiaries, The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC, www.sipc.org), and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; compliance and trade monitoring solutions; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides banking and lending services and products. More information is available at www.schwab.com and www.aboutschwab.com.
Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with or supervised by Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. (“Schwab”). Schwab Advisor Services™ serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading, and support of Schwab.
The Charles Schwab Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, private foundation that is not part of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. or its parent company, The Charles Schwab Corporation. Schwab is not affiliated with the Foundation for Financial Planning or Texas Tech University.
For informational purposes only.
1 Schwab strategy estimates, individual company financial reports, FDIC, ICI, Federal Research Flow of Funds, Cerulli Associates and Discovery Database, 2013-2014