Celebrating 15 years of IMPACT Awards® winners
November 3, 2020
By Meredith Richard, Senior Manager, Communications
There are a lot of reasons to virtually raise a glass to celebrate independent advisors at this year’s Schwab IMPACT®: it’s the 30th anniversary of the largest and longest running event for the RIA industry as well as the first-ever virtual edition. On top of that, this is the 15th consecutive year that Schwab Advisor Services has recognized independent advisory firms with IMPACT Awards® for their demonstrated leadership and business practices.
In 2006, Charles Schwab established the IMPACT Awards program by recognizing Tim Kochis of Kochis Fitz with the Charles R. Schwab IMPACT AwardTM, Plante Moran Financial Advisors with the Best-in-Business IMPACT AwardTM, and RegentAtlantic Capital, LLC with the Best-in-Tech IMPACT AwardTM.
Like the IMPACT conference itself, the awards program evolved over the years to reflect a growing and increasingly dynamic industry. The current lineup of awards is the Best-in-Business IMPACT AwardTM, the Pacesetter IMPACT AwardTM, the Trailblazer IMPACT AwardTM, and the Best-in-Retirement Business AwardTM.
- Best-in-Business IMPACT Award: 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.
- Pacesetter IMPACT 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, responsiveness, and growth of its business.
- Trailblazer IMPACT Award: 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.
- 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.
The winning firms for 2019 were recognized during the conference in San Diego: Sequoia Financial Group, LLC; AdvicePeriod, LLC; Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo, LLC; and PCS Retirement, LLC.
Flash-forward to 2020, a year that brought adversities unlike any we’ve seen in the past 15 years. Even so, independent advisors rose to the challenge during this unprecedented time by being there for clients when they needed it the most. Advisors’ passion, purpose, and commitment have never been so evident. So this year, every advisor is an IMPACT Award winner, and Schwab is making a $100,000 donation on behalf of advisors to the Boston Resiliency Fund to honor the city that would have hosted the in-person conference.
Each IMPACT Award-winning firm has played a key role in getting the industry to where it is today. In honor of the 15th anniversary of the IMPACT Awards program, past winners share their memories from the main stage at IMPACT and talk about how their firms have grown and evolved since that day.
Previous IMPACT Awards winners
Moneta Group Investment Advisors, LLCEric Kittner
Beacon Pointe AdvisorsShannon Eusey
AllGen Financial Advisors Inc.Paul Roldan
Eric Kittner, Chairman of the Board and Managing Partner, Moneta
Moneta Group Investment Advisors, LLC
2007 Best-in-Business IMPACT Award
Firm AUM: $20 billion1
Winning the IMPACT Award was an affirmation of the care we provide our clients. It also provided the opportunity for us to be viewed as an industry leader, and that’s important from our perspective because if we’re an industry leader, we’ll attract the best talent. And if we attract the best talent, we’ll attract the best clients and be able to serve the clients the way we need to.
One of the biggest things we’ve focused on since 2007 is centralizing the non-client facing items such as billing, onboarding new clients, or maintenance paperwork. We still have to do those things and do them well, but our focus has really been allowing our teams, the client-facing partners and advisors, as much time with clients on the value add side as possible.
Since winning the IMPACT Award, we crossed our 30th anniversary as an RIA. We’ve seen numerous transitions from the first generation partner to the next-gen partner. That’s happened quite a few times. We know that’s an area that firms are struggling with at this point in time, and oftentimes there’s a sale or change in control event. We’ve really been able to transition the firm internally, which we think is in the best interest of our clients. We’re focused on building sustainable businesses for our teams and our clients, and we’ve seen that happen.
From a firm perspective, I give a tremendous amount of credit to our founding partners who really handed over the leadership roles to many of the second-gen partners. They turned it over to me at 39 years old, and many firms wouldn’t have done that. We have more and more second-gen partners involved. From an industry standpoint, not every firm is pushing the envelope like that, so I’m especially proud of that.
Shannon Eusey, Partner and CEO,
Beacon Pointe Advisors
2014 Trailblazer IMPACT Award
Firm AUM: $11.8 billion1
The experience of winning the Trailblazer IMPACT Award was true validation of everything we had worked hard to build. Trailblazing is a mindset – not a stop and start “check it off the list” activity. We are constantly innovating or looking to be better than where we currently stand. As business grows, sometimes it can be hard to remain innovative and entrepreneurial, but we always strive to stay true to our roots by being nimble and having an entrepreneurial spirit.
In 2014, our strategic acquisitions and our RIA platform were relatively new; we had completed five acquisitions and had 57 employees. Today we have 17 offices and over 170 employees. It has been humbling to see what our team has built. Growing from a regional to a national firm requires us to constantly step up in every area of the business – we embrace this and see it as a positive.
Looking back to 2014, we sought to double our firm’s revenues over the next three to five years while maintaining healthy margins. We are proud to say we have accomplished that and more. But we are most proud of spreading financial literacy throughout our community, exposing the next generation to career opportunities in the RIA industry, and empowering our clients through education.
Our Women’s Advisory Institute (WAI) has been our catapult for empowering our clients and their families and our communities through financial literacy. It has allowed us to host educational seminars for young adults – both men and women – of high school, college, and young adult ages to foster and embrace their personal financial journeys. It has allowed us to partner with the Girl Scouts to create a finance badge and host events for Girl Scouts to become money savvy at a young age. It inspired us to write a personal finance book for women () that is digestible, and even enjoyable and entertaining to read. It has allowed us to work with clients and deepen relationships through engaging family financial planning meetings and conversations. WAI is in many ways what led us to our innovative allWEALTH® approach to serving clients.
Paul Roldan, CEO and Co-Founder,
AllGen Financial Advisors Inc.
2016 Pacesetter IMPACT Award
Firm AUM: $250 million1
The most memorable part of winning the IMPACT Award in 2016 was seeing the joy and pride of our team during the whole process. Our mission can be quite grueling. Being able to see our team members enjoy being recognized by Schwab was invaluable as it reaffirmed the reason we work so hard to help our clients in their pursuit of financial freedom.
Since 2016, we enhanced our offering by creating a platform to make financial planning available to the underserved in our community. Our platform gives planning access to those that have not yet accumulated much in the way of investable assets or are not yet high income earners. We are proud of being able to expand our financial planning offering to those that typically do not have access to a financial advisor due to asset minimum requirements or lack of ability to pay fees.
The IMPACT Awards are given each year to firms that have advanced the industry through their demonstrated leadership and business practices. Schwab honors each of the winning firms by donating $15,000 to a charity of their choice. Since the debut of the IMPACT Awards in 2006, Schwab has recognized 52 firms and donated more than $800,000 on their behalf. Winning firms are usually selected by a panel of independent judges from across the industry. Learn more about past winners .
1 As of October 25, 2020.
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. For informational purposes only.
The IMPACT Awards® are not a referral to, endorsement or recommendation of, or testimonial for the advisor with respect to its investment advisory or other services.
Experiences expressed are no guarantee of future performance or success and may not be representative of you or your experience. The mention of these firms is not, and should not be construed as, a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship by Schwab.
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