SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schwab Advisor Services today announced the recipients of the 11th annual IMPACT Awards for independent investment advisor firms. Four firms received awards on the main stage this morning at Schwab IMPACT, the nation’s largest and longest-running annual gathering of independent advisors.
The winning firms for 2016 are:
- SignatureFD, LLC for the BEST-IN-BUSINESS IMPACT AWARD™
- Allgen Financial Advisors Inc. for the PACESETTER IMPACT AWARD™
- Planning Alternatives for the TRAILBLAZER IMPACT AWARD™
- Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group for the BEST-IN-RETIREMENT BUSINESS AWARD™
The IMPACT Awards are given each year to independent advisor firms that have demonstrated excellence through leadership, innovative business practices, client dedication, and fresh thinking. To honor these outstanding firms, Schwab will make a donation of $15,000 to a charity of each winner’s choice. Since the debut of the IMPACT Awards over a decade ago, Schwab has donated more than half a million dollars on behalf of the winning firms.
“For more than a decade, we have recognized firms that represent the industry’s best attributes and that embody the differentiating aspects the independent advice model offers investors,” said Jonathan Beatty, senior vice president, sales and relationship management, Schwab Advisor Services. “This year is no exception; the individuals at these winning firms are embracing their leadership positions and propelling the industry forward.”
Winning firms were selected by a panel of independent judges. In addition to donating to charities on behalf of the winning firms, Schwab will give $1,000 to nonprofit organizations selected by each of the judges in appreciation of their time and dedication to the selection process.
This year’s judges were:
- Blaine F. Aikin, Executive Chairman, fi360
- Kevin Keller, CEO, CFP Board
- Julie Littlechild, President, AbsoluteEngagement.com
- Thomas R. Robinson, President and CEO, AACSB International
- Sean R. Walters, Executive Director and CEO, Investment Management Consultants Association
BEST-IN-BUSINESS IMPACT AWARD: SignatureFD, LLC of Atlanta, GA
Since 1997, SignatureFD has empowered people to use their wealth – which the firm defines as time, talent, influence, and money – to live a great life. SignatureFD’s business strategy is anchored to four core values: greatness, growth, generosity, and gratitude. Among the firm’s goals and initiatives are:
- Aspiring to reach approximately four billion in assets under management (AUM) and surpass 1,800 clients, by 2018 through strong organic growth, acquisitions, and client retention.
- Expanding its investment in client communities by building on previous successful initiatives such as SignatureWOMEN®, SignatureGENEROSITY®, and SignatureEXEC®. These programs enable people to meet, learn, grow, and have fun.
- Building an innovative technology platform with the goal of providing a superior client experience.
Schwab will make a donation to Helping Hands Ministries, Jordan Chamblee, on behalf of SignatureFD.
PACESETTER IMPACT AWARD: Allgen Financial Advisors Inc. of Orlando, FL
Since its founding in 2003, Allgen has focused on simplifying complex issues and guiding clients toward financial freedom. In the past three years, Allgen increased AUM by $45 million and added 250 new households. The firm expects a number of factors to drive continued success:
- In the coming years, Allgen will continue to improve its client segmentation strategy to help clients of any age achieve financial freedom.
- Allgen will maintain its focus on serving investors of different backgrounds.
- The firm will continue to use technology to increase productivity, reach a wider audience, and improve the client experience.
Schwab will make a donation to the National Christian Foundation on behalf of Allgen Financial Advisors Inc.
TRAILBLAZER IMPACT AWARD: Planning Alternatives of Bloomfield Hills, MI
For 34 years, Planning Alternatives has helped clients navigate their financial journeys through personalized financial plans, thoughtful investment strategies, and coordinated wealth management services. A customer-first approach has enabled the firm to more than double its AUM since 2010. Looking ahead, Planning Alternatives will maintain its trailblazer mentality through several initiatives:
- Planning Alternatives plans to add $100 million in AUM annually through organic growth and by acquiring like-minded independent firms with a goal to oversee $2-3 billion of client assets in the next five years.
- Planning Alternatives will continue to work with legislators and regulators to promote transparency and ethical behavior in financial services.
- The firm will continue to introduce the independent model to those who have previously experienced conflicts of interest in financial advice. Planning Alternatives set a precedent in this area through its unique joint venture with Michigan State Medical Society for physicians who previously received product pitches from financial service providers.
Schwab will make a donation to Variety, the Children’s Charity, on behalf of Planning Alternatives.
BEST-IN-RETIREMENT BUSINESS AWARD: Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group of Wakefield, MA
In business for more than 30 years, Sentinel provides meaningful education and support to the American retirement saver. The firm attributes its success to its “everyman strategy,” or its belief that all clients deserve expert guidance and quality outcomes, regardless of their level of wealth. Among the Sentinel’s current goals and initiatives are:
- Redeploying its investment consultants to provide financial counsel as well as health education, including on Medicare.
- Continuing to helping plan sponsors increase the effectiveness of their plans through plan design, educational programs, and enhanced fiduciary management. The firm’s advisors will also encourage retirement readiness among plan participants by continuing to promote features like automatic enrollment and education.
- Maintaining its reputation for client service through seamless alignment of operational and technology strategies, including automation, digitization of client forms, and integrated, web-based workflows.
Schwab will make a donation to the St. John’s Preparatory School John A. Carnevale ’81 Scholarship Fund on behalf of Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group.
About the IMPACT Awards
Independent registered investment advisors have fundamentally changed the financial services landscape by providing independent investment advice to high-net-worth investors. Established by Schwab in 2006, the IMPACT Awards recognize these contributions by honoring advisors and firms that have advanced the industry through their visionary leadership, operational excellence, and technology innovation.
The Best-in-Business Award goes to an independent investment advisory firm that has been in business for at least 10 years, has a track record of growth and excellence, and uses technology solutions to help expand market reach, responsiveness, and operational efficiencies.
The Pacesetter Award pays tribute to a firm in business 10 years or less that has shown initiative, growth, and promise as well as a focused use of technology to extend its reach.
The Trailblazer Award recognizes an independent advisory firm that is forging new ground in the RIA space by combining entrepreneurial spirit with a drive to advance the industry’s interests as a whole.
The Best-in-Retirement Business Award honors an independent record keeper or advisor that focuses on retirement plans, understands the unique needs of plan sponsors and/or participants, and has developed an innovative approach to serving them.
In addition to the IMPACT Awards, Schwab engages in a wide range of efforts to advance the independent advisory industry, such as supporting nonprofit organizations and universities and amplifying the voice of independent advisors in Washington, D.C. on regulatory and public affairs issues. Schwab Advisor Services has also launched a national print and digital advertising campaign to increase awareness of the independent advisory model.
For more information on the IMPACT Awards program, visit impact.schwab.com/awards.
Follow @Schwab4RIAs #SchwabIMPACT for news and updates from IMPACT® 2016
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.
For general informational purposes only.
Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with or supervised by Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. (“Schwab”). The mention of the above firms is not, and should not be construed as a recommendation, endorsement or sponsorship by Schwab.