Awards for Excellence in the Business of Independent Financial Advising go to Wetherby Asset Management, Bristlecone Advisors and Heritage Wealth Advisors
Public Company Information:
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Charles Schwab & Co., Inc, a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for approximately 6,000 independent fee-based investment advisors, today announced the winners of the fourth annual IMPACT Awards® ― an industry-wide awards program to honor advisory firms that have advanced the industry through their visionary leadership, operational excellence, technology innovation, and impressive growth.
The winners were recognized today during a ceremony at Schwab’s IMPACT® 2009 conference, one of the country’s largest annual gatherings of independent investment advisors. Profiles and videos of the winners are available online at impactawards.schwab.com.
Wetherby Asset Management in San Francisco, Calif. is the Best-in-Business Award winner for its success in business management. The firm has focused on developing high levels of client service, creating a culture of collaboration and broadening employee ownership in the business. Wetherby Asset Management now serves nearly 500 households with more than $2.4 billion in assets. While the company has consistently enjoyed growth through referrals from existing clients and professional partners, its priority is delivering high levels of service to its clients.
Wetherby Asset Management’s high-touch client service model requires that employee development and headcount growth precede asset growth. When planning for future growth, the firm examines its capacity to serve new clients from a client service, technology and operations standpoint. It also carefully considers its employee training and education needs. The firm is committed to increasing the number of employee shareholders, which underscores its philosophy that the easiest way to make someone act like an owner is to allow them to become an owner.
The Best-in-Tech Award winner is Bristlecone Advisors in Seattle, Wash., for using technology to extend the reach, responsiveness and growth of its business. Recognizing the critical role that technology can play in efficiently serving complex, ultra-affluent clients, Bristlecone Advisors created Aristata, a practice management system that combines six core applications crucial to advisory firms: customer relationship management (CRM), investments, family office management, document management, search, and client reporting. What makes Aristata unique is its ability to integrate these applications on a single platform designed specifically for family and multi-family offices.
The development of Aristata was grounded in Bristlecone Advisors’ philosophy that infrastructure should precede the addition of new clients, but should never dilute the level of service offered to existing clients. The firm, which now manages $437 million, sees technology as a means to build capacity and enhance client value. Aristata has helped Bristlecone Advisors centralize client information, define processes, and facilitate communication both among team members and with clients. By placing client information in a central location, it has helped team members at all levels understand client needs and more efficiently serve clients. Aristata has also enabled Bristlecone Advisors to differentiate itself with prospective clients by showing them specifically how the firm can proactively manage their financial activities.
As a result of its accelerated growth, Heritage Wealth Advisors in Richmond, Va., is the Pacesetter Award winner. Since its founding in 2005, Heritage Wealth Advisors has more than tripled in size, both in assets under management and revenue, based largely on a commitment to business planning, practice management, employee development and client loyalty.
The firm combines investment advisory, tax consulting and financial planning services when working with clients, which gives the firm a total understanding of its clients’ financial situations. This approach, coupled with frequent proactive outreach to clients, has helped the firm continue to grow through referrals from loyal clients, despite the difficulty and volatility of the last year.
While Heritage Wealth Advisors maintains a commitment to growing, this growth is attained through commitment to high levels of client service. This year, the firm established a chief operating officer position to help manage the firm’s growth strategy based on every client of the firm being supported by at least three team members with relationship managers playing a key role in client retention. Heritage Wealth Advisors is also committed to maintaining multiple client touch points as a way to retain and win clients, frequently reaching out to clients with market updates, legislative news and updates on new products and services. The firm also initiated a highly successful series of educational events designed specifically for women.
This year, the Charles R. Schwab IMPACT Award®, which is traditionally given to an individual advisor whose vision, leadership, client commitment, and community engagement demonstrate the value of independent investment advice, was awarded to all independent investment advisors in recognition of the industry’s outstanding support of clients during a tumultuous year.
Jim McCool, executive vice president and head of Institutional Services at Charles Schwab, said to the more than 1,200 advisors at IMPACT, “You have survived one of the toughest years ever in the financial services industry. But your clients saw the best of the independent investment advisor model as you worked long and hard to reassure and educate them. We admire you enormously, and would like to express our gratitude for your sacrifices and our pride in Schwab’s relationships with you.”
As part of the IMPACT Awards program, each winning firm was granted a $10,000 donation from Schwab to a charity of their choice. Schwab made $5,000 donations on behalf of Wetherby Asset Management to Doctors Without Borders and Make-a-Wish Foundation®. On behalf of Bristlecone Advisors, Schwab donated $5,000 to Social Venture Partners, $2,500 to EarthCorps, and $2,500 to the University of Washington's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and its annual Business Plan Competition. Schwab donated $10,000 on behalf of Heritage Wealth Advisors to The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia’s 2009 TCF Safety Net Fund. On behalf of all independent investment advisors recognized with the 2009 Charles R. Schwab Award, Schwab donated $50,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to support the organization’s ongoing efforts to improve financial literacy, particularly among teens from disadvantaged circumstances.
The 2009 IMPACT Awards winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including Daniel O. Leemon, former executive vice president and chief strategy officer for The Charles Schwab Corporation; Edythe “Dede” McClatchy Pahl, executive director of the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA); David G. Tittsworth, executive director and executive vice president of the Investment Adviser Association (IAA); and Marvin W. Tuttle, Jr., CAE, executive director and CEO of the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
About the IMPACT Awards
Independent investment advisors have fundamentally changed the financial services landscape by providing independent investment advice to affluent investors. The IMPACT Awards, established by Schwab in 2006, recognize these contributions by honoring advisors and firms that have advanced the industry through their visionary leadership, operational excellence and technology innovation. The IMPACT Awards are judged by a panel of recognized experts and presented at IMPACT®, one of the industry’s leading conferences. For more information, visit impactawards.schwab.com.
About Charles Schwab
The Charles Schwab Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 7.6 million client brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 619,000 banking accounts, and $1.3 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. 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; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through its Advisor Services business segment. The Charles Schwab Bank® (member FDIC) provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at www.schwab.com.
IMPACT Awards winners and their employees are independent of and are not employees or agents of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab"). The IMPACT Award is not an endorsement, testimonial endorsement, recommendation or referral to winners with respect to their investment advisory and other services.
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