Schwab IMPACT Awards® Honor Three Visionary Firms
Schwab Advisor Services announces winners of its 2012 IMPACT Awards® for independent registered investment advisors (RIAs).
- Iowa-based Foster Group, Inc. – Best-in-Business IMPACT Award™;
- Glassman Wealth Services, LLC of McLean, VA, – Pacesetter IMPACT Award™
- Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney, Inc, also of McLean – Trailblazer IMPACT Award™
Winners were recognized during a ceremony at Schwab’s IMPACT® 2012 conference, one of the nation’s largest and longest-running annual gatherings of independent investment advisors. Now in its seventh year, the awards program pays homage to those advisors and firms that have advanced the industry through their visionary leadership, innovative practices and exceptional growth. Profiles and videos of the winners are available online at http://impact.schwab.com/awards/winners.html
“This year’s winners represent a breed of advisors who demonstrate a similar philosophy of unwavering client service and support,” said Bernie Clark, executive vice president and head of Schwab Advisor Services. “We are recognizing the outstanding achievements of these three firms because of the important role that each of them has played in raising the visibility of the independent model and shaping the RIA segment.”
The 2012 IMPACT Awards winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges, including Julie Littlechild, President of Advisor Impact; Sean R. Walters, Executive Director and CEO, Investment Management Consultants Association; Dr. Thomas R. Robinson, Managing Director, Education, CFA Institute. For the judges participation, Schwab makes a donation of $1,000 to each judges’ charity of choice.
Recipient of the Best-in-Business IMPACT Award, Foster Group, Inc. is an Iowa-based financial planning and investment advisory firm with more than $1.1 billion in assets under management. Founded in 1989 by Jerry Foster, the firm is committed to reducing the complexity of wealth management and financial planning, delivering straightforward financial solutions that form the foundation of their clients’ ongoing success. The firm serves more than 850 clients across 38 states and maintains a specialized focus on working with clients in the medical profession.
Since its founding, Foster Group has transitioned from a single owner to a shared partnership, allowing the firm’s eight shareholders to focus on building a sustainable and enduring enterprise. The firm has created and implemented the “Advisor Playbook,” providing in-person training and education for all employees on generating and securing new business. The program has been instrumental in growing Foster Group’s referral network by 170 percent in the past year, primarily through employee referrals. In conjunction with the firm’s commitment to maintaining long-term client relationships, this growth in referrals has kept the firm on pace to achieve its 2012 growth goal, supported by a 22 percent compound annual growth for the past five years.
In order to support and expand its growth, Foster Group is dedicated to developing industry-leading technology. In October 2011, the firm formed a non-subsidiary, Orchestrate LLC, to enhance technology solutions throughout the financial industry. The result is ProcessComposer, a smart engine that provides systemic embedded workflows for nearly every component of Foster Group’s business operations. From compliance to portfolio management to on-boarding new employees, the tool allows the firm to deliver a consistent experience. Available through the Salesforce AppExchange, ProcessComposer has been widely adopted by RIAs, as well as businesses both in and outside of financial services industry.
This year’s Pacesetter IMPACT Award goes to Glassman Wealth Services, LLC, a McLean, VA-based advisory firm that was founded by Barry Glassman in 2009. Glassman Wealth Services has approximately $530 million in assets under management, up nearly 60 percent since the firm’s inception three years ago, and provides clients with a highly customized, yet collaborative service model approach which has helped blaze the firm’s path to success. While the company’s assets have grown, Glassman continues to serve a limited number of clients remaining available and responsive to them.
The firm’s core values – known as D.R.E.A.M – have also driven growth. This acronym is part of the company’s strategic plan and represents the firm-wide philosophy to: Demand excellence; Remain nimble and always current; be Empowered to learn, think and be creative; be Accountable to clients and to each other; and be a Meaningful part of something special. These five pillars have allowed Glassman to become a pioneer in social media and a thought leader in the RIA industry, while remaining focused on client communication and education.
Glassman’s overall communication strategy incorporates a distinct presence across all social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, utilizing these channels to share his points of view, build brand awareness and enhance his firm’s search engine optimization. To ensure the firm is always forging new ground, both in the service delivered to clients and to enhance internal efficiency in the workplace, Glassman offers its employees quarterly out-of-office “Thinking Days,” a concept that was inspired by Bill Gates. Glassman gives employees the time, tools and energy they need to sharpen their creative skills, resulting in “outside-of-the-box” ideas that, when implemented, help to better the firm, its clients, and employees.
The winner of the inaugural Trailblazer IMPACT Award is Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney, Inc. which is based in McLean, VA and has more than $2 billion in assets under management. The firm was founded in 1991 by Greg Sullivan and Jim Bruyette when the two decided to merge their practices and create a fee-based business that put the needs of their clients first. In 2003, the firm was acquired by Harris Bank, which complemented Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney’s expertise in financial planning, portfolio management, fiduciary services, and tax services, and their pledge to deliver the highest level of personal service to clients. This merger helped propel the firm forward, giving Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney the liquidity and resources they needed to expand.
While the firm’s proven track record of growth and client retention remains impressive, it is Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney’s altruistic culture and continued drive to advance the RIA industry that categorizes them as trailblazers. More specifically, the firm has helped shape the future of the RIA and financial planning industries through the development of two successful thought leadership groups that are comprised of high level industry leaders, who hail from varying parts of the industry. These groups have successfully shared best practices with other thought leaders in the industry, resulting in the continued growth of the RIA segment.
Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney’s leadership team has also made philanthropic initiatives a top priority for all employees at the firm, illustrating through their own actions that the culture of giving back starts from the top. For example, two senior members of Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney have served as presidents of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and as leaders of NexGen and the CFP Council on Examinations. Participation on industry organizations such as these is encouraged to junior members of the firm. In addition, the firm also established a Philanthropy at Work (PAW) committee, which meets regularly and involves its employees in giving back to the community and the industry overall. Through the actions of this committee, Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney has organized regular fundraising walks, runs and bike rides that raise money for medical research and homeless prevention programs.
About the IMPACT Awards
Independent investment advisors have fundamentally changed the financial services landscape by providing independent investment advice to high-net-worth investors. The IMPACT Awards, established by Schwab in 2006, 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 10 years or more and has a track record of growth and excellence, as well as best-in-class technology solutions that have helped expand market reach, responsiveness and operational efficiencies. . The Pacesetter Award pays tribute to an up-and-coming independent investment advisory firm in business 10 years or less who 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 forges new ground in the RIA space by combining entrepreneurial spirit with a drive to advance the industry’s interests as a whole.
Schwab makes a donation of $15,000 to a charity of the winners’ choice for the Best-in-Business, Pacesetter, and Trailblazer Award recipients.
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 impacting RIAs. Schwab Advisor Services also is the driver behind RIAStandsForYou.com, a multi-media national advertising campaign with a local marketing strategy that aims to support the independent RIA category and increase awareness of the independent advisory model among high net-worth investors.
For more information visit on the IMPACT Awards program visit http://impact.schwab.com/awards/about.html
About Charles Schwab
The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.7 million active brokerage accounts, 1.6 million corporate retirement plan participants, 851,000 banking accounts, and $1.9 trillion in client assets. The company was ranked ‘Highest in Investor Satisfaction With Self-Directed Services’ in the 2012 US Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction StudySM from J.D Power and Associates. 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, 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 its Advisor Services division. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides trust and custody services, banking and lending services and products. Investment products offered by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or obligations of Charles Schwab Bank, and are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of principal invested. More information is available at www.schwab.com and www.aboutschwab.com.
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The above mentioned third parties are not affiliated with or employed by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. The listing of award winners is not, and should not be construed as a recommendation, endorsement or sponsorship by Schwab. Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with or supervised by Schwab. Experiences reflected are not a guarantee of future performance or success and may not be representative of your experience.
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