Schwab Launches Comprehensive Set of Resources to Help Advisors Navigate the Transition to Independence

New White Paper, Webcast and Website Provide Information and First-Hand Insight into Becoming an RIA

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 5:30 am PDT



Public Company Information:

"By consulting with experts who have been through the process and utilizing available resources, advisors can avoid many pitfalls and move toward a rewarding, independent career."

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Continuing its rollout of resources to help support advisors considering full independence as an RIA, Schwab Advisor Services, a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for nearly 7,000 independent RIA firms, announced a white paper and webcast focusing on the legal and regulatory considerations of going independent. Legal and Regulatory Considerations: Navigating the Transition to Independence as an RIA is part of the Schwab Market Knowledge Tools® (MKT) white paper series and is available in conjunction with a webcast hosted by Schwab Advisor Services today at 1 p.m. PT.

Schwab Advisor Services also announced the launch of dedicated website content for advisors currently at independent broker-dealers (IBDs), providing information for evaluating a fully independent or hybrid practice model, which allows RIAs to conduct a combination of traditional brokerage business and fee-based advisory business. The site will host podcasts and webcasts tailored for the needs of advisors at IBDs. Three video testimonials walk viewers through first-hand accounts of transitions told by advisors who worked previously at IBDs, offering insight into how they made the transition.

“Whether you are considering starting your own RIA, joining an existing one, or exploring a hybrid model, the transition process can seem daunting for many advisors,” said Nick Georgis, Schwab Advisor Services vice president. “These new resources offer insights into the process including how to plan and implement a transition and several time-tested procedures that have served many highly-successful advisors who have made the switch.”

The new white paper, developed in conjunction with MarketCounsel, suggests advisors weigh legal and regulatory considerations and requirements around independent RIA models by focusing on these areas:

  • Assessing your employment situation and formulating an exit strategy. As a first and critical step, an advisor should engage legal counsel to conduct a review of various agreements in place.
  • Evaluating your needs, goals and objectives. An advisor should first chart their vision through the development of a strategic plan assessing their client base, as well as products and services they and their clients desire.
  • Choosing your entity’s legal structure. Once an advisor has decided to make the transition, it’s important to decide upon a legal structure for the new company.
  • Protecting your business from the unexpected. Prior to commencing operations, advisors should obtain insurance to protect against business risks, including errors and omissions insurance in particular.
  • Determining the type of licensing and registration required. Assuming advisors will be required to register as an investment advisor, they will need to determine which regulatory authority, either state or SEC, with whom must register their firm.
  • Preparing and filing appropriate disclosure documents and form filings. Advisors are held to a higher standard of disclosure than other professionals and must disclose all material facts regarding conflicts of interest.

“The key to a successful transition lies in large part in adequate planning. Advisors need to determine early on what they want their firm to be, and then build the infrastructure to support that vision,” said Georgis. “By consulting with experts who have been through the process and utilizing available resources, advisors can avoid many pitfalls and move toward a rewarding, independent career.”

For more information or to register for a webcast, advisors should go to Schwab Advisor Center, Schwab’s website for its RIA clients to access the latest information.

IBD video testimonials can be accessed directly on YouTube through the following link:

These firms and their employees are not, and should not be construed as a recommendation, endorsement or sponsorship by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Experiences expressed are no guarantee of future performance or success and may not be representative of your experience.

About MarketCounsel, LLC

MarketCounsel is a business, regulatory, and compliance consulting firm to the country’s entrepreneurial investment advisors. For more information, visit

MarketCounsel, LLC is not affiliated with Schwab.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.2 million client brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 765,000 banking accounts, and $1.65 trillion in client assets as of Aug. 31, 2011. 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,, 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 division. Independent investment advisors are not owned, affiliated with or supervised by Schwab. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at and (0911-5990)

Schwab does not provide regulatory, legal, tax or compliance advice. Consult professionals in these fields to address your specific circumstance.

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