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CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a compelling keynote address today from the main stage at IMPACT 2012 – one of the nation’s largest and longest-running annual gatherings of independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) – Bernie Clark, executive vice president of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., and head of Schwab Advisor Services, emphasized the importance of cultivating the next generation of RIA leadership and outlined Schwab’s bold agenda to launch a series of forward-looking, advocacy-based initiatives in 2013 and beyond.
Clark noted in his speech that the RIA industry was built by advisors willing to break with tradition in order to forge a new and better way to serve clients. It is that “explorer spirit,” according to Clark, that is required once again to propel the industry forward as traditional Wall Street firms and other competitors have taken steps to operate more like RIAs.
Schwab Advisor Services, a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for RIA firms, is planning a series of initiatives, beginning in 2013, aimed at providing support and advocacy for RIAs at a crucial time for the industry. The most critical needs, according to Schwab, are to prepare the next generation of RIAs for leadership, attract the best and the brightest to the profession, and broaden the universe of clients who recognize and understand the RIA difference.
“As a community, if we’re going to continue succeeding, we need a broad-based commitment to reach new clients and bring new people up through the ranks and into the business,” said Clark. “We must prepare the RIA community for the future, and to meet that challenge Schwab is taking important and demonstrable steps in three critical areas – internal succession, sourcing new talent, and investor education.”
Clark went on to highlight the following initiatives Schwab is planning for 2013 and beyond:
- Succession – Building off Schwab’s Insight to Action Program, which helps RIA firms put tangible succession plans in place, as well as the launch of the first-ever succession lending program that provides financing for junior partners seeking firm equity, Clark announced that Schwab will be developing a new education program aimed exclusively at grooming the next generation of RIA leaders. “Many people think of succession in terms of 'entity' but we also think about succession in terms of people,” said Clark. Schwab envisions an e-learning community to teach the realities of running a firm, sourcing, hiring, developing and maintaining talent, and a host of other leadership responsibilities. The program will be delivered in 2014.
- New Talent – In addition to Schwab’s continued commitment to provide universities like Texas Tech and UC Irvine with resources, technology and facilities to train advisors of the future, Clark announced that Schwab will be launching an intern program in 2013 designed to identify and develop new talent. Schwab will provide interns with experience on critical systems and education about the industry, profession and end-investor needs. Participating interns will then be available for hire by RIA firms on the Schwab platform.
- Investor Education – Propelled by a strong first year of results for “RIA Stands for You” – Schwab’s multi-media campaign aimed at educating affluent investors about the benefits of working with an RIA – Clark announced a range of enhancements, including new national advertising, an expanded consumer-facing website, investor videos, and a supporting message from Schwab founder Charles (Chuck) Schwab on the campaign website. Clark also noted that in 2013 Schwab will be building an Advisor Directory that investors will be able to use to locate RIAs in their communities.
In other announcements, Clark highlighted a new addition to Schwab Intelligent Integration™ called MarketSquare – a Zagat-style rating and review site where RIAs can research technology providers and read the comments and experiences of other advisors. Additionally, Clark shared Schwab’s vision for transforming the client experience – both for advisors doing business with Schwab and for advisors and their clients. He noted the current enhancements that will help build the platform for this vision, including a new relationship with DocuSign to provide e-signature capabilities built into Schwab’s platform and the new Schwab Advisor Center app for the iPad.
“The RIA industry was created by leaders with vision, courage and commitment to community; and it is time to engage those same qualities again,” said Clark. “It’s a call-to-action we’re not just making, but also answering. That’s the spirit behind everything we’re announcing today, and the same spirit that has – and always will – drive this industry forward.”
About Charles Schwab
The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.7 million active brokerage accounts, 1.6 million corporate retirement plan participants, 851,000 banking accounts, and $1.9 trillion in client assets as of October 31, 2012. 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. 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 its Advisor Services division. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides trust and custody services, and banking services and products. More information is available at www.schwab.com and www.aboutschwab.com. Investment products offered by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or obligations of Charles Schwab Bank. (1112-7398)
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