DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schwab Advisor Services announced today the recipients of the ninth annual IMPACT Awards® for independent registered investment advisor (RIA) firms. The winners were honored this morning at the 2014 Schwab IMPACT® conference in Denver, the nation’s largest and longest-running annual gathering of RIA firms.
The winning firms for 2014 are:
- Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough, LLC, for the Best-in-Business IMPACT Award™
- United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC, for the Pacesetter IMPACT Award™
- Beacon Pointe Advisors, for the Trailblazer IMPACT Award™
- Alliance Benefit Group of Minnesota & Kansas, for the Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award™
The IMPACT Awards® are given to RIA firms and advisors who have advanced the industry’s reputation for client service through their demonstrated leadership, innovative business practices and strategic growth. The Trailblazer Award further acknowledges a firm that has advanced the industry’s interests through advocacy and that has made a difference in their community. New in 2014 is the addition of the Best-in-Retirement Business category, recognizing an independent recordkeeper or advisor who focuses on retirement plans and who has developed an innovative approach to serving them. Profiles and videos of the 2014 winners are available at http://impact.schwab.com/awards/. Schwab makes a donation of $15,000 to a charity of each winner’s choice. Since the debut of the IMPACT Awards® in 2006, Schwab has donated more than half a million dollars on behalf of winning firms.
“There are so many great firms and business leaders who carry the torch for the RIA industry, advocating for the highest level of service, and achieving extraordinary results,” said Bernie Clark, executive vice president and head of Schwab Advisor Services. “Although we honor specific firms with our IMPACT Awards® each year, the recipients embody in spirit and in practice the best examples of what has made our industry the destination of choice for investors. We are pleased to acknowledge the achievements of these four firms and we applaud their efforts to help propel the independent advice model forward.”
The panel of judges for this year’s IMPACT Awards® included Blaine F. Aikin, CEO, fi360; Kevin Keller, CEO, CFP Board; Julie Littlechild, CEO, Advisor Impact; Thomas R. Robinson, Managing Director, Americas, CFA Institute; and Sean R. Walters, Executive Director and CEO, Investment Management Consultants Association. Schwab donates $1,000 to a charity selected by each judge for their dedication of time and expertise to the awards selection process.
BEST-IN-BUSINESS AWARD: BINGHAM, OSBORN & SCARBOROUGH, LLC
Since its founding more than 25 years ago, San Francisco-based Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough, LLC (BOS) has followed a fundamental approach to understanding a client’s complete picture before offering financial advice. The firm has established a disciplined investment methodology to navigate the complexities of investing to meet clients’ needs.
With a goal to achieve $750 million in net new assets over five years, BOS is focused on strategic growth by recruiting top talent, continually enhancing their client offering, and adopting efficient processes, technology and service strategies.
The firm’s organizational structure is built on a foundation of centralized responsibilities, with clearly defined roles, policies and procedures that enable teams to emphasize consistent and comprehensive service for clients. Employees are incentivized to bolster company growth with compensation beyond base salary, including bonuses if the firm achieves its growth goals. BOS integrates employees into its partnership structure – each of its current principals was promoted from within. As part of its forward-looking operational strategy, BOS plans to dedicate resources to the enhancement of leadership training and skills development, personnel coaching and other strategic HR initiatives in support of its ongoing employee feedback program, and is proactively increasing staff by 20 percent across the organization by 2015.
The BOS team strives to provide the kind of transparent, affordable, personalized and unbiased advice upon which the founders built the firm. Success on this front is evidenced in the firm’s high rate of referrals, as well as by a client retention rate that tracks near 100 percent.
Schwab will make donations to Bay Area Legal Aid, Edgewood Center for Children and Families, and Shanti Project on behalf of Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough.
PACESETTER AWARD: UNITED CAPITAL FINANCIAL ADVISERS, LLC
In 2005, CEO Joe Duran founded Newport Beach, Calif.-based United Capital with a mission: to improve lives by bringing truth, understanding and discipline to people’s daily financial choices.
Less than a decade later, United Capital has amassed more than $10 billion in assets under management and has achieved more than $100 million in revenue through a combination of acquisitions, recruiting and strong organic growth. As it continues to build a national brand, the firm expects to double in size within the next five years. United Capital is known for its patent-pending approach to wealth counseling, which engages clients in a dynamic process to understand how they feel about money, identify what matters to them, set clear priorities and take action.
The Money Mind® and Honest Conversations® make the planning process interactive with gamification. The recently launched Guidebook, United Capital’s re-invention of the financial plan, uses technology to make plans dynamic and personalized and helps provide a more understandable path forward. An innovative technology platform, integrated through Salesforce, enables United Capital creative flexibility while providing a scalable, streamlined operating environment for the entire business.
As a firm that is passionate about improving the financial services industry, United Capital places a premium on building a culture based on shared values of loyalty, humility, responsibility and productivity. Advisors are carefully selected to protect the firm’s culture and United Capital makes major investments in training to ensure a consistently excellent client experience.
Schwab will make a donation to the Orange County chapter of the Tech Project on behalf of United Capital.
TRAILBLAZER AWARD: BEACON POINTE ADVISORS
Founded in 2002, Newport Beach, Calif.-based Beacon Pointe Advisors has a goal to become the top wealth management firm in California. With more than 45 employees and $6.2 billion in assets under management, the firm focuses on four key areas to achieve growth: seek and support female investors; active leadership to cultivate the next generation of advisors; the use of technology to support advisors; and support the growth of smaller advisors.
Beacon Pointe’s partners are passionate about tackling industry issues, leading to the development of many initiatives now driving the firm’s strategic plan. Beacon Pointe’s Women Advisory Initiative launched in 2012 with a dedicated website designed to help connect, empower and deliver guidance to females in the investment advisor industry. In a similar effort to help cultivate the next generation of advisors, every partner at the firm mentors a young adult interested in a financial services career, and two partners teach at University of California Irvine School of Business. The firm also established Beacon Pointe University, an internship program and a financial literacy summer course to educate young investors and develop advisors. Meanwhile, Beacon Pointe uses Junxure CRM in all aspects of its business and leverages financial planning software NaviPlan to help deliver a seamless client experience.
Schwab will make a donation to the Beacon Pointe Advisors Fund – OCCF.
BEST-IN-RETIREMENT BUSINESS AWARD: ALLIANCE BENEFIT GROUP of Minnesota & Kansas
Headquartered in Albert Lea, Minn., Alliance Benefit Group of Minnesota & Kansas (ABG-MNKC) is one of the largest retirement plan administrators in the country. Across its consulting, recordkeeping and administration services, ABG-MNKC strives to drive sustainable financial outcomes for American workers. Providing administration services to more than 14,000 plans and more than 1.1 million plan participants, the consortium is driven by a value system based on quality, passion, innovation and collaboration.
A pioneer in the industry, ABG-MNKC was an early adopter of the participant-directed retirement plans and model portfolios. In recent years, as defined contribution plans have become mainstream, the firm has increased their focus on participant engagement. Part of their process is an “Aggregate Plan Sponsor Retirement Readiness Report,” which helps plan sponsors establish a baseline and track progress in their plans and allows participants to remain updated on and involved in their retirement readiness. The ABG-MNKC consulting team is able to create tailored education policy statements for clients, while participants have access to specialized video content and interactive tools that guide them through their enrollment process and retirement planning.
ABG-MNKC plans to add 45,000 participants to their recordkeeping/administration business over the next three years, while its consulting arm aims to double assets under management to $5 billion and nearly triple its 3(38) fiduciary plan services to $1 billion in the same time period. An 18-month redesign project is also in the works that will, in part, establish a multi-stage financial wellness program for clients and simplify the total re-enrollment process.
Schwab will make a donation to the Albert Lea Public Education Foundation and the Marion Medical Mission on behalf of Alliance Benefit Group of Minnesota & Kansas.
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 and has a track record of growth and excellence, as well as leading technology solutions that have helped 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 recordkeeper or advisor focusing on retirement plans that 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 support and advance the independent advisory industry. Activities include donations to non-profit organizations and universities, as well as providing a voice in Washington, D.C., on regulatory and public affairs issues that matter to RIAs. Schwab Advisor Services also is the driver behind RIAStandsForYou.com, a digital advertising campaign supporting independent RIAs with the goal of increasing awareness of the independent advisory model among high net-worth investors.
For more information on the IMPACT Awards® program, visit http://impact.schwab.com/awards/.
Follow IMPACT 2014 news and updates @Schwab4RIAs #SchwabIMPACT
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.
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