WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schwab Advisor Services today announced the recipients of the 13th annual IMPACT Awards® for independent investment advisor firms. The IMPACT Awards recognize firms that have advanced the industry and demonstrated excellence through their leadership and business practices. The winning firms are: JMG Financial Group, Rebalance, LLC, The Colony Group, and Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC. Each firm was recognized today on the mainstage at Schwab IMPACT®, the largest and longest-running annual gathering of independent advisors in the nation.
“Each year we recognize four firms for truly exceptional work and contributions to the industry, and this year’s winners have once again raised the bar,” said Jonathan Beatty, senior vice president, sales and relationship management, Schwab Advisor Services. “These firms rise to the top for their innovative approaches, dedication to excellence, and entrepreneurialism. Their achievements elevate the entire 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: JMG Financial Group
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 – as well as safeguard client assets and information.
Founded in 1984 and established as an independent registered investment advisor in 1996, JMG Financial Group is an Illinois-based wealth manager that provides comprehensive planning advice and asset management services to clients in over 40 states. The firm’s assets under management (AUM) have grown nearly 70 percent over the past five years to approximately $3 billion, driven by the addition of over 200 new-to-firm households, of which 95 percent came from existing client referrals and corporate programs.
Supported by a proprietary customer relationship management (CRM) system, JMG provides customized, comprehensive, and client-focused services. The firm maintains a client retention rate of more than 10 years, on average, and average employee tenure of nearly 15 years.
Factors that drive JMG’s success include:
- A methodical and deliberate approach to acquisitions that prioritizes workplace culture and common goals.
- A focus on training and mentorship for next generation advisors that includes coaching, rotations across business departments, and a policy by which senior partners transition new business to non-partner advisors to help them build their client base.
- Technology integrations within the firm to transfer data efficiently and accurately from different systems.
Schwab will make a donation to Almost Home Kids and Gigi’s Playhouse on behalf of JMG Financial Group.
PACESETTER IMPACT AWARD: Rebalance, LLC
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, responsiveness, and growth.
Launched in 2013, Rebalance, LLC, has consistently worked to help Americans live well and retire with more. Rebalance brings investment expertise and financial advice to investors at a lower price point by using technology and best-in-class portfolio management. The firm’s AUM has increased over 140 percent in the last three years to over $640 million.
Rebalance has distinguished itself in its commitment to address the changing needs of clients, exemplified by a focus on advocacy, education, and consumer protection.
Rebalance leverages innovation and technology to increase efficiency by:
- Offering a hybrid robo-investment service coupled with human advisors.
- Automating operational tasks to keep costs and client fees low.
- Using cloud-based technology and an innovative business model.
Schwab will make a donation to North Carolina Outward Bound School and Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation on behalf of Rebalance, LLC.
TRAILBLAZER IMPACT AWARD: The Colony Group
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 1986, The Colony Group has grown to a team of over 140 professionals serving clients across 10 offices that oversee over $8 billion in AUM. The firm’s vision is to be the leading advisory firm nationally for clients and employees who seek meaning and joy in their lives. The firm’s five-part strategic plan consists of innovating services, optimizing platforms, elevating people, accelerating growth, and pursuing targeted inorganic growth.
The Colony Group has continually demonstrated its commitment to developing innovative ways to serve its clients and advance the advisor industry. The firm invests in technology to benefit all independent advisor firms, successfully serves unique market segments in innovative ways, and attracts and develops talent to fill the industry’s talent gap. The Colony Group’s initiatives to advance the industry include:
- Advancing digital transformation as a founding member of ScratchWorks, a FinTech accelerator for the wealth management industry.
- The firm’s Her Wealth® initiative provides women with the resources and confidence necessary to take control of their money. The initiative includes a scholarship program that promotes the next generation of women financial planning professionals.
- Cultivating a culture of inclusion and opportunity by offering a clear path to equity sharing, not just for a small group of senior advisors, but for those employees who excel at what they do and make meaningful contributions to their clients and the firm.
- The firm’s leadership actively works to increase awareness of the independent model through community and industry association involvement, writing, and conference appearances.
Schwab will make a donation to Colony Cares on behalf of The Colony Group.
BEST-IN-RETIREMENT BUSINESS AWARD: Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC
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.
Fiduciary Investment Advisors (FIA), based in Windsor, Connecticut, has taken a client-first approach to serving employee benefit plan participants for over two decades. The firm currently oversees more than $60 billion in retirement plan assets. FIA helps clients achieve their goals by providing best-in-class investment advice and fiduciary guidance. The firm has developed innovative services to meet the needs of plan participants, including:
- Assisting plan sponsors in leveraging technology and implementing automatic features like auto-enrollment and auto-escalation to increase plan participation and savings rates.
- Conducting re-enrollment campaigns that improve the contribution rates of employees and enrolls them in automatic increase features, often achieving opt out rates in the single digits.
- Using a quarterly Fiduciary Governance Calendar that ensures a consistent service model across the practice and addresses specific plan-related focus areas.
Schwab will make a donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and YMCA of Greater Hartford on behalf of Fiduciary Investment Advisors.
About the IMPACT Awards
Independent investment advisors have fundamentally changed the financial services landscape by providing client-centric, independent advice to investors. Established in 2006 by Charles Schwab, the IMPACT Awards honor firms that have advanced the industry and have achieved success through exemplary business practices.
Winning firms were selected by a panel of distinguished financial services leaders. Schwab donates $1,000 to nonprofit organizations selected by each of the judges in appreciation of their efforts.
This year’s panel of judges included:
- Blaine Aikin, CEO, Fi360 and CEFEX
- Geoffrey E. Brown, CEO, National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
- Julie Littlechild, President, AbsoluteEngagement.com
- Kevin Keller, CEO, CFP Board of Standards, Inc.
- Thomas Robinson, President and CEO, AACSB International
- Sean Walters, Executive Director and CEO, Investments & Wealth Institute
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 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.
Follow @Schwab4RIAs and #SchwabIMPACT on Twitter for news and updates from Schwab IMPACT® 2018.
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 deposit and lending products. More information is available at www.schwab.com and www.aboutschwab.com.
The above mentioned firms and their employees are not affiliated with or employees of Schwab, unless otherwise noted. This should not be construed as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship by Schwab. The views expressed are those of the third party and are provided for informational purposes only. Experiences expressed are not guarantee of future performance or success and may not be representative of your experience.
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