CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schwab Advisor Services today announced the recipients of the 12th annual IMPACT Awards® for independent investment advisor firms. The IMPACT Awards recognize independent advisor firms that have advanced the industry through exemplary business practices. The winning firms are: Heritage Financial Services, LLC, Gurtin Municipal Bond Management, Mainstay Capital Management, LLC, and ABG Retirement Plan Services. Each was recognized on the main stage today at Schwab IMPACT®, the largest and longest-running annual gathering of independent advisors in the nation.
“These four firms represent what the independent advice industry stands for: an unwavering focus on serving in the best interests of their clients,” said Jonathan Beatty, senior vice president, sales and relationship management, Schwab Advisor Services. Their entrepreneurship, business savvy and innovation makes them important parts of our communities as well as of our industry.”
Schwab honors each of the four firms by donating $15,000 to a charity of their choice. Since the debut of the IMPACT Awards in 2006, Schwab has donated over half a million dollars on behalf of the winning firms.
BEST-IN-BUSINESS IMPACT AWARD: Heritage Financial Services, LLC
Awarded to a 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.
Founded in 1995, Heritage Financial is a Westwood, Massachusetts-based wealth manager with a team of 30 professionals who provide personal wealth management services. The firm’s assets under management (AUM) have grown more than 80 percent over the past five years to more than $1.3 billion. The AUM growth is supported by the addition of over 180 new-to-firm households over the past five years and a 99-percent client retention rate.
The firm’s technology and operations strategy supports client experience and growth goals through security, integration, cloud-based solutions to enable consistent client service, and centralized operations that enable scale and efficiency.
Among the firm’s core values is a client-first approach to building cost-effective, sophisticated portfolios prepared with detailed financial planning strategies. According to Heritage, several factors will drive its continued success, including:
- Delivering comprehensive wealth management through a holistic standard of client evaluation with the goal of transforming clients’ financial lives from isolated parts into an integrated whole.
- Commitment to the education and professional development of employees and a forward-looking talent acquisition model to help the firm stay ahead of growth initiatives and provide best-in-class service to clients.
Schwab will make a donation to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Greater New England on behalf of Heritage Financial Services, LLC.
PACESETTER IMPACT AWARD: Gurtin Municipal Bond Management
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.
Since 2008, Gurtin Municipal Bond Management has been dedicated to serving high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients by providing specialized municipal bond management, including custom portfolios, and more recently, mutual funds. Based in Solana Beach, California, and approaching its 10-year anniversary, Gurtin has grown to include 72 employees and $14 billion in AUM.
The firm’s reputation as an innovative leader in the municipal bond management industry drives a deep level of confidence among its clients. Among its latest innovations is a Municipal Social Advancement strategy, which lets investors advance social or environmental goals through municipal investments.
Gurtin uses technology to drive high-touch client service as well as business development. For example:
- The firm’s technology team represents 20 percent of total headcount. The team has helped the firm create a broad range of differentiated municipal bond strategies and increase efficiency without losing the personal touch in its client service model.
- A custom database, created and managed by internal independent credit research analysts, allows the firm to access extensive credit research and perform custom portfolio reviews for prospective clients who are considering a portfolio transition.
Schwab will make a donation to Feeding America on behalf of Gurtin Municipal Bond Management.
TRAILBLAZER IMPACT AWARD: Mainstay Capital Management, LLC
Recognizes a firm that is forging new ground in the independent advice space by combining entrepreneurial spirit with a drive to advance the industry’s interests.
Since its founding in 2000, Mainstay Capital Management of Grand Blanc, Michigan, has built a team of 21 professionals who oversee more than $2 billion in AUM. In addition to being a full-service wealth manager providing financial planning and portfolio management for workplace savings accounts, IRAs, and non-retirement accounts for individuals, Mainstay also promotes financial literacy through its MoneyMatters webinar series.
Mainstay also supports the next generation of financial advisors through the following initiatives:
- Founded by Mainstay’s CEO, David Kudla, the ENGAGE® Undergraduate Investment Conference is an annual student stock pitch competition and conference that focuses on the next generation of financial professionals and emphasizes experiential learning.
- As Co-Program Director of the Global Asset Management Education Forum, an annual college student-managed portfolio competition and conference that brings together current and future leaders from the financial services industry for experiential learning and career development.
- Establishing student-run investment portfolios at three universities, each in excess of $1 million.
Schwab will make a donation to Habitat for Humanity on behalf of Mainstay Capital Management.
BEST-IN-RETIREMENT BUSINESS AWARD: ABG Retirement Plan Services
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.
For more than 40 years, ABG Retirement Plan Services in Peoria, Illinois, has served retirement plan participants and health savings account holders and currently oversees more than $3 billion in retirement plan assets. The firm is fueled by a drive to help Americans prepare for retirement and grow their savings. As such, its services for advisors and participants are centered around retirement outcomes and financial wellness and include:
- The 401(k) Sales Champion Workshop©, an advisor enrichment program that provides business-building workshops and retirement plan education courses that train advisors in retirement best practices and general education and sales tools that help them develop their group retirement business.
- A report system that helps plan members project their progress toward retirement readiness and review suggestions for improvement. Plan members can personalize the projections further, frequently with help from the plan’s advisor.
- An online Financial Fitness Center for plan participants that opens with a Financial Wellness Test and emails out personalized reports. These reports are subsequently complemented by an array of financial education tools, including webcasts, podcasts, videos, and “workout” items.
Schwab will make a donation to The Salvation Army - Heartland Division and Peoria Public Schools Foundation on behalf of ABG Retirement Plan Services.
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.
Winning firms were selected by a panel of prominent leaders from both the business world and the financial services industry. Schwab donates $1,000 to nonprofit organizations selected by each of the judges in appreciation of their efforts.
This year’s distinguished panel of judges included:
- Blaine F. Aikin, Executive Chairman, fi360
- Julie Littlechild, President, AbsoluteEngagement.com
- Kevin R. Keller, CEO, CFP Board of Standards, Inc.
- Thomas R. Robinson, President and CEO, AACSB International
- Sean R. Walters, Executive Director and CEO, Investment Management Consultants Association
In addition to the IMPACT Awards, Schwab engages in a range of efforts to advance the independent advisory industry. Initiatives include supporting nonprofit organizations and universities as well as amplifying the voice of independent advisors in Washington, D.C. on regulatory and public affairs issues. Schwab Advisor Services also maintains Find Your Independent Advisor, a national TV, print, and digital advertising campaign that aims to increase awareness of the independent advisory model among high-net-worth investors.
For more information about the IMPACT Awards program, visit impact.schwab.com/awards.
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. More information is available at www.aboutschwab.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.
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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Schwab Advisor Services™ serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading, and support of Schwab.
The firms and their employees are independent of and are not employees or agents of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”). Schwab does not prepare, verify or endorse information distributed by these firms. The awards listed are a part of Schwab’s IMPACT Awards® program, and are not a referral to, endorsement or recommendation of, or testimonial for the advisor with respect to its investment advisory or other services.
For informational purposes only.