Introducing the RIA Talent Advantage Student winners


August 17, 2021

By Kaitlyn Coyne, RIA Intern

About the author: Kaitlyn is a senior at the University of Florida studying management, real estate, and event management, while also pursuing her master’s degree in international business. Kaitlyn is looking forward to graduating this spring and is actively searching for her next career step, preferably in the financial services industry. This summer, Kaitlyn worked as an intern for Schwab Advisor ServicesTM and was able to get firsthand experience interacting with the various teams. Katilyn shared, “I truly enjoyed learning about the industry and how firms support their clients. I loved being immersed in so many projects, including designing an RIA firm.”

Schwab Advisor Services and the Charles Schwab Foundation are excited to announce the recipients of the 2021 RIA Talent Advantage Student Scholarship.

“The scholarship was created to remove financial barriers, promote diversity, and open doors within the RIA industry for future talent,” said Leslie Tabor, Director of Business Consulting & Education for Schwab Advisor Services. “After reviewing the applications, we are excited about the future of our industry and the passion and drive to do what’s best for clients that these young people will bring with them.”

Student applicants represented 46 universities across the country and 70% of the applications were completed by students from diverse backgrounds.

Applications were scored based on three areas: academics, extra curriculars, and an essay. The 12 students selected will each receive a $10,000 scholarship to use for the 2021-2022 academic year and they will be matched with an advisor mentor.

This year’s scholarship judges and mentors are RIA firm leaders who serve on Schwab Advisor Services’ new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Advocacy Board.

The DEI Advocacy Board was created to bring together a group of RIAs who are actively leading efforts at their firms to cultivate an inclusive workplace, attract and develop diverse talent, and champion diversity in the marketplace and their local communities.

“Being a mentor is the best way to pass down your legacy and aid the future leaders of the industry,” said Craig Jones, Senior Wealth Advisor and Managing Director at The Colony Group, and DEI Advocacy Board member. “Mentorship is a two-way street as both parties are gaining experiences that could be unmatched. By engaging in these relationships, you’re not only providing guidance but also learning from each other and investing in the future of potentially your firm and our industry.”

Ansleigh Brister, a 2021 RIA Talent Advantage Scholarship winner said, “Gaining perspective and learning from established individuals within the RIA industry is not only valuable but impactful in the direction I take my career. Having a mentor provides guidance and insight that can help you accomplish your goals.”

RIA firms now manage $5.7T in client assets. Schwab remains committed to supporting the growth of the RIA industry and advocating on advisors’ behalf to attract new and diverse talent through this scholarship as well as other established programs such as the Student Program at IMPACT®, the RIA Summer Internship, and university grants in partnership with the Charles Schwab Foundation.1

With 78% of RIA firms planning to hire in 2021, the need for fresh, diverse talent is growing.2

Leslie quote

“It’s more important than ever before for firms to develop teams that offer a range of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds that reflect their clients and can form unique relationships that go beyond the office doors. The long-term benefits of creating a diverse and inclusive workplace are immeasurable.”

Leslie Tabor, Director, Business Consulting & Education, Schwab Advisor Services

Meet our 2021 RIA Talent Advantage Scholarship winners!

Congratulations to our 2021 RIA Talent Advantage Scholarship winners!


1 The Cerulli Report, U.S. RIA Marketplace 2020: Exploring Drivers of Change. Cerulli Associates, December 18, 2020.

2 2021 RIA Benchmarking Study from Charles Schwab. Schwab designed the RIA Benchmarking Study to capture insights in the RIA industry based on survey responses from individual firms. The 2021 study provides information on topics such as asset and revenue growth, sources of new clients, products and pricing, staffing, compensation, marketing, technology, and financial performance. Since the inception of the study in 2006, more than 4,100 firms have participated, with many repeat participants. Fielded from January to March 2021, the study contains self-reported data from 1,340 firms that custody their assets with Schwab or TD Ameritrade and represents over $1.5 trillion in assets under management, making this the leading study in the RIA industry. Schwab did not independently verify or validate the self-reported information. Participant firms represent various sizes and business models. They are categorized into seven peer groups by AUM size. The study is part of Schwab Business Consulting and Education, a practice management offering for RIAs. Grounded in the best practices of leading independent advisory firms, Business Consulting and Education provides insight, guidance, tools, and resources to help RIAs strategically manage and grow their firms.

The above mentioned firms and their employees are not affiliated with or employees of Schwab unless otherwise noted.

Program administered by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS), a separate company not affiliated with The Charles Schwab Corporation and affiliates. Charles Schwab & Co. and ISTS are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other’s policies or services.

Schwab Advisor Services™ serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading, and support of Schwab.

Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with, or supervised by Schwab.

TD Ameritrade Institutional, Division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA / SIPC, is a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

©2021 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”) All rights reserved. Member SIPC.