What if becoming an RIA is the answer you’re looking for?

Transition

“We wondered how we’d handle the transition stress—then we got a transition plan.”

Becoming an independent RIA isn’t easy. But if you have a team like Schwab to help anticipate your needs, plan for the challenges, and move accounts, then the process is a lot less stressful.

Want details about the transition?

The RIA Roadmap provides you with the key steps to take to help you start your journey to independence.

Forward Momentum will help you understand the RIA model and the opportunities it offers, specifically for large, elite advisor teams.

Complete this form and the guide is yours to download.

The form below helps us connect you with the right people to answer your questions about transitioning to an independent RIA. We also may use the information to send you additional leadership insights from Schwab Advisor Services.

Select the guide or guides you wish to download:

Potential

“The question wasn’t, ‘How much growth will we see?,’ it was ‘Do we have a plan for it?’”

We knew there was potential for growing our business. We just weren’t sure how to prepare for it. With help from Schwab, we put together a strategy for short-term and long-term goals. It was a huge, eye-opening experience for us. We grew over 20% in just 24 months.

Advantages

“I asked myself: is there a way to serve my clients better?”

When you become a registered investment advisor (RIA), you become truly independent. You have control of your own brand, reputation, and values. And for my firm, becoming an independent RIA meant always acting in our clients’ best interest as a fiduciary. We can focus on offering products and services that are right for them.

Learn more about the independent RIA model.
Download the overview.What does independence look like?
Support

See how Schwab can help with transitioning and beyond.

Members of Schwab Advisor Services discuss how they help with the transition process, selecting technology, establishing a business strategy, and more.

  • Read transcript

    This is a transcript of unscripted speech, rather than written prose, and therefore should not be relied on for grammatical accuracy. This is not a verbatim transcript. Parts have been slightly modified to improve readability.

    On-screen text:
    Schwab Advisor Services™
    Advisor Transition Services

    On-screen text:
    Julian Lopez
    Managing Director, Advisor Services Business Development

    JULIAN LOPEZ: Hello, my name is Julian Lopez, Managing Director of Schwab Advisor Services. Matt, thank you for joining us.

    MATT FARIES: Sure. Glad to be here.

    JULIAN: Director of Advisor Transition Services. It’s going to be a fun conversation; looking forward to spending some time here with you.

    MATT: Me, too. Thanks for having me.

    JULIAN: So let’s jump right in. When you think about your role and what you do, what do you particularly enjoy about what you bring as far as resources to advisors?

    On-screen text:
    Matt Faries
    Managing Director, Advisor Transition Services

    MATT: Yeah, so great question. There’s a lot to it that I enjoy, hard to narrow it down to one piece, in particular. But I would say, really, for me, it’s the onset of working with an advisor team, seeing them kind of see their dream come to reality.

    JULIAN: How long have you been at Schwab now?

    MATT: So I’ve been at Schwab 27 years…

    JULIAN: All within Convergent Services?

    MATT: Within Convergent Services about seven years now.

    JULIAN: And so when you think about your role describe to a prospect who maybe is unfamiliar with what we do within your team…

    MATT: Sure.

    JULIAN: …what, exactly, that you and your team does for them.

    MATT: Sure. Yeah, so I would say about 10 years ago we kind realized the need for separate teams to kind of help advisors during this transition process, like planning the actual conversion process, that transitioning for their firm. And so my whole job is dedicated to that conversation, and really my role is a project manager for that conversion, itself, right? So every advisor has a different model, every advisor team has a different need, a different structure. So I put together a list that says from ‘A to Z here are all the pieces that you’re going to need to look at, here are the priorities, here’s the timeline.’ That way they feel like as we’re moving close to that, quote, target date of that move nothing’s going to surprise them, right?

    JULIAN: We’re taking an advisor from one side and kind of helping them bridge their current experience to what their experience might be at Schwab. Any one or two things that you would think about to tell an advisor ‘These… these are items that you want to be thinking about early in the process.’?

    MATT: Each move is a little bit different. I think, first and foremost, ‘What is the most important piece? Why are you making this move?’ Right? ‘Is this for your clients?’ ‘Is this to meet, you know, new clients, go after clients that you haven’t necessarily been able to service in the past?’ ‘I think figuring out that marketing strategy, what your new vision is going to be, what your new strategy will be, how you’re going to grow your business, do you want to grow your business, what is the whole purpose of doing this’ is one of the key pieces. And then really the other important pieces is just being engaged in the process.

    JULIAN: How do you prepare, how do you educate them on the ability to understand the different resources that are available to them?

    MATT: Oftentimes, teams don’t really realize, number one, what that RIA model looks like, what it’s going to look like at Schwab. So, yeah, first and foremost, I have a checklist that I run through that as I mentioned earlier, kind of runs the gamut of here are all the things that we want to look at. We have in-depth research and training modules that we can show them, and so we start that training towards the end as they’re getting ramped up to start this new business. But, certainly, we’re pulling in specific product experts and so forth to introduce them to what our capabilities are, so that they understand them.

    JULIAN: How would you position Schwab and what you do within your team, specifically, versus what we see and hear about in the industry.

    MATT: This is a team that we put together over the last 10- to 15 years now, really, that’s solely dedicated to the conversion process . And we’ve built-out that process. We’ve built-out what that structure needs to look like, what that support needs to look like, beyond site support, if necessary, for these conversions. We’ve actually talked with other advisors who have gone through some of our competitors and seen what they have or have not done, and, certainly, feel like we’re… our product is much better, much more competitive from that standpoint.

    JULIAN: So to that point, approximately, conversions and assets that you may or your team has worked on, been involved with over the last few years, do you have an idea as to what that looks like from a magnitude perspective?

    MATT: Yeah, so from an overall perspective, I think we’re around 2,300 to 2,400 conversions, so teams, if you will, and I think around 190 billion in assets. So, certainly, a lot of experience, I think.

    JULIAN: So let’s talk about the top two or three questions that you might get.

    MATT: Ah, ‘What am I not thinking of?’

    JULIAN: Yeah.

    MATT: Right? ‘What am I missing?’ ‘How do I…’

    JULIAN: I don’t know what I don’t know.

    MATT: Right.

    JULIAN: Yeah.

    MATT: ‘How hard is the transition?’ Right? ‘How quickly can it happen?’ ‘How do I know my clients are going to come over?’ So it’s helping them kind of understand their book as deeply as possible.

    JULIAN: How do you help them mentally prepare to take this leap?

    MATT: It can get stressful. And it’s really pulling in our team that has that experience, sitting down with advisor. I’ve gone to advisors’ homes, you know, after hours, late at night…

    JULIAN: Huh.

    MATT: …to kind of sit down and walk through a project plan and make sure they have that comfort. But we do weekly calls, right, where we’ll call in and check in with the advisor or the team to make sure that they feel like everything is going according to plan. I really think helps give them the confidence and that everything is going to be okay, right? And to give them solid examples of what we’ve seen really helps.

    JULIAN: You can tell that you’re passionate about the relationships.

    MATT: Yeah. Yeah.

    JULIAN: How to get people to get to do what they do best.

    MATT: It’s great. I mean, they… to be honest, it is so rewarding to see how exciting this process is…

    JULIAN: Yeah.

    MATT: …to see the advisors, how excited they get, but even more so, their clients because I know I keep hitting on this, but that fear of what their clients are going…

    JULIAN: Right.

    MATT: …to say, and…

    JULIAN: Right.

    MATT: …you know, oftentimes, the client’s like, ‘What took you so long?’ You know?

    JULIAN: Yeah.

    MATT: And, ‘You know, we were waiting for you to do this.’ And ‘We’re so happy for you.’ And they’re bringing in cakes and cookies. I mean, how great is that?

    JULIAN: So, Matt, what is the one thing that comes top of mind around what you want advisors to know about you or your team?

    MATT: Yeah. I guess top of mind the one thing for them to know is that it’s going to be okay…

    JULIAN: Yeah.

    MATT: …that we’re going to help them, we will be there, we’re not going to leave them, we’re not going to go away, we are absolutely dedicated to making this process work. We don’t have other jobs. I don’t do this on the side. This is… I am fully dedicated to helping these advisors through this transition process.

    JULIAN: Matt, thanks for that perspective and all the…

    MATT: Yeah.

    JULIAN: …other perspectives. Really appreciate you taking time out of your busy day…

    MATT: Yeah, you got it.

    JULIAN: …to join us. I know you’re going to have some advisors here actually visiting our facility shortly.

    MATT: Yep. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. So you bet, thanks for your time, as well.

    JULIAN: So thanks for joining us…

    MATT: Appreciate it.

    JULIAN: All right.

    MATT: Okay.

  • Read transcript

    This is a transcript of unscripted speech, rather than written prose, and therefore should not be relied on for grammatical accuracy. This is not a verbatim transcript. Parts have been slightly modified to improve readability.

    On-screen text:
    Schwab Advisor Services™
    Business Consulting

    On-screen text:
    Chris Reedy
    Managing Director, Advisor Services Business Development

    CHRIS REEDY: Hello, I’m Chris Reedy, Managing Director of Business Development for Schwab Advisor Services. Today, we’re joined by Nikolee Turner and Kimberly Sanders, who are both with our Business Consultant Team. Welcome.

    NIKOLEE TURNER: Hello.

    KIMBERLY SANDERS: Thank you.

    CHRIS: So, Kimberly, how long have you been with Schwab?

    On-screen text:
    Kimberly Sanders
    Director, Business Consulting

    KIMBERLY: I’ve been actually working with advisors in this transition space at Schwab for the last six years.

    CHRIS: And Nikolee?

    On-screen text:
    Nikolee Turner
    Managing Director, Business Consulting

    NIKOLEE: I have been at Schwab for almost four years, but I’ve been working with advisors in the RIA space and wirehouses for 12-plus years.

    CHRIS: Nikolee, what do you like about your role?

    NIKOLEE: I love that I get to help principals and firm leadership really become the best versions of themselves. Seeing what their area of struggle is and helping them think through it, work through it, come up with a strategy for it, and to make improvements in it. We want to help, I want to help firms make lifelong changes that really impact their firm, impact their business.

    CHRIS: Kimberly, what do you like about your role?

    KIMBERLY: I think I’ve got the best role at Schwab, to be honest. I love helping advisors really visualize what it is that they want to become and changes that they want to make, and helping them plan, and get there, and achieve it, and see that success, and then see them years after. I think, all of us at Schwab, this is a relationship business and I value very much seeing the advisors that I’ve worked with over the years come back and tell me stories about how much better their life is. They tell me stories about how they’ve been able to sponsor events for their kids, and how they’re spending more time. Many of them are bringing family members into the business. They are so proud of what they’ve built. And so knowing that I was part of that at the very beginning, and I know what the vision was for five years from now, and for them to come back and say, ‘Look, I’m here, and now I want to do more.’ That’s my favorite part of the job.

    CHRIS: Tell me a little bit more, Kimberly what do you… how do you describe what your team does to help those advisors?

    KIMBERLY: So if you think of us as small business consultants, we’re there from the very beginning, helping them do that due diligence, understanding the economics of the change, and then helping them create a business plan and then execute on that business plan, from identifying the gaps that they might need to fill, to filling those gaps with vendors or partners, and then really, at the end, pulling it all together into this really strong message for their clients and for the world to hear.

    CHRIS: And Nikolee tell me what does your team do and how do you help advisors?

    NIKOLEE: Right… so our team, once an advisor… an advisory firm is on the… is with Schwab, then I go in and I help them with some of their most pressing challenges, whatever that might be, something from… typically, firms are interested in ‘How do I grow?’ or ‘What is my profitability like or what should it be like?’ Transitioning their firm to the next generation is a hot topic that we’ve been working on a lot. So whatever it is that is most pressing for their firm, that’s what we work on.

    CHRIS: So, Kimberly, what makes your team different than the competition?

    KIMBERLY: The fact that we have a team makes us different than the competition. I think the investment that Schwab makes in us in giving us the ability to dedicate ourselves to advisors during the transition. The fact that I have a partner, Nikolee, makes us different. So I specialize in working with advisors in that transition space. They’ve got different questions, different needs. And I work with them throughout that transition so that they’re up and running. And, you know, behind the scenes, Nikolee and I are talking and we’re sharing that information, we’re sharing that business plan, and I’m letting her know, ‘Hey, these are some of the issues that they might want to talk about in their first year.’ And then we make that introduction and then she takes it from there. And there’s continuity, there’s involvement and excitement, right? We’re very invested in these firms. The relationship goes a long time.

    NIKOLEE: Yes, and I love that… being able to work with Kimberly in those firms, because they’re so much further along. So when we…once the dust has settled, as you mentioned then we can really tackle more advanced challenges that they might be facing. So that continuity, I think…

    KIMBERLY: Yeah.

    NIKOLEE: …is important, that there’s someone on the other side, too, to help them.

    CHRIS: Why don’t you give me an example of how someone’s made that transition and it’s opened up some new opportunities for growth or maybe just a… you know, some new opportunities within their business.

    KIMBERLY: Sure. There’s a firm that I’m thinking of in Southern California that immediately came out the gate and said, ‘Look, we don’t know anything about insurance, we’ve never sold insurance, we never got paid on insurance, but we know that’s gap and that our clients are looking somewhere else to fill that gap.’ So they built-out an entire insurance arm in their firm, they brought in experts, and it’s completely changed the way they do wealth management. They’ve reframed their offering from money management to holistic wealth management. And insurance was a big piece of that, it was a catalyst to change their entire messaging.

    NIKOLEE: And I think it’s also about the freedom to be able to design a client experience that feels appropriate or right for their clients. So you talk about the planning and being able to do the planning in the way that they want to. Oftentimes, there’s this constraint on time or resources. And to be able to design that specifically for their ideal clients, the clients that they enjoy working with the most I think there’s a tremendous amount of freedom in being able to dictate what that is.

    CHRIS: People hear a lot about our Benchmarking Study. Maybe tell us a little bit more about it.

    NIKOLEE: Sure. I love Schwab’s Benchmarking Study because it is really the foundation for a lot of the work that we do with firms. It was one of the things that attracted me to Schwab. I’ve been consulting in the industry for a long time prior, but Schwab’s data is really robust. Over 1,100 firms participating in that study. And being able to contribute data that allows us to see not only what’s happening in a specific firm what’s going on with their firm in terms of their profitability, but also to be able to compare to other people, and say, ‘You know, am I spending the right amount of money in my technology?’ or ‘Should I be looking at trying to achieve a different, profit margin?’

    CHRIS: So, Kimberly, what are two or three questions that you hear most often from advisors going through a transition?

    KIMBERLY: Well, the first one is… tends to be about economics. They’re trying to figure out ‘What will it look like on the other side?’ ‘Can I afford to do it?’ So we work through the economics with them, helping them understand a comparison between today and the future. We leverage our Benchmarking Study, we leverage our experience with prior transitions, quotes that we have from partners that do this day in and day out to help them get a really strong comparison and a sense of confidence that, yes, they can do this.

    Then another question would be, really, ‘How am I going to talk about this to my clients? What am I going to say? You know, will they come with me?’ And so we work that. We understand it’s not a script, it’s not something that they all say the same thing, it’s ‘What are your clients asking you? What are their pain points? And how are you making an investment to address those paint points?’ And that’s how we shift that conversation.

    And then, finally, it’s ‘How on earth am I actually going to do this?’ And that’s where we say, ‘We’re here to help you.’ There are so many resources at Schwab that we’re… our sole purpose is to help you get from point A to point B, so that, you know, you launch with confidence and pride.

    CHRIS: So, Kimberly, you talked about a lot of the questions that you get from advisors going through transition are sort of fear-based.

    KIMBERLY: Uh-huh.

    CHRIS: What are some of the questions they should be asking?

    KIMBERLY: I think they should be asking when, ‘When should I do this? What’s a great time?’ And the answer to that is ‘When it’s right for you. When are you confident that you have the ability to spend the time to focus on the due diligence and the planning, and to reach all of your clients?’ It’s designed based on them, right? The perfect time for them is the perfect time for their clients. I think they should be asking, ‘What’s next?’ Right? ‘I don’t want to just focus on the transition and getting myself launched. I want you think about where are we going to be in 5 years, 10 years? How am I going to transition this business when it’s time for me to leave?’ because we want to build that foundation that prepares them for all of that growth, and that succession, and their entire career as a business owner, because we’re always looking at that sale at the end of the day. There’s going to be a transition, and we want that firm to be valued as much as possible at the time of that sale. So we build the foundation, we put the pieces in place, so they are making steady progress towards that really strong, viable firm.

    CHRIS: So, Nikolee, what are two or three questions you hear from advisors regularly?

    NIKOLEE: Most often, advisors want to know ‘How can I grow? How can I grow faster, more effectively?’ And we spend a lot of time helping firms put together strategies that allow them to do that, to grow in the ways that they want to grow, ways that make for a sustainable firm, a sustainable business.

    So another question that advisors ask all the time is, ‘What is everyone else doing?’ They want to know what the firm down the street is doing and how they compare. One way that I love to help firms understand how their numbers or what their data points are matching up to those around them. And then we take that a step further and we figure out what do they need to do so that they can get to that place that they envision themselves.

    CHRIS: As advisors are looking at making a transition to the RIA model, why should they be choosing Schwab Advisor Services?

    KIMBERLY: Well, I think they should be choosing Schwab not only for today but for tomorrow. And I think that’s something that advisors often miss, is that ‘This is a lifelong decision. You don’t want to do this again. This is the time, right? This is your launch. This is the beginning of the rest of your career. And so all the things that we provide, all the services that we’re here to help support these advisors as they’re making the transition, understanding the model, planning for their future, making sure that the transition goes off seamlessly, all of that support is modeled on the other side. They’ve got advisors, and support, and service teams, and relationship managers, and consultants there to help them through the next series of decisions. It’s not just one decision. This… owning a business is a lifetime of decisions.

    NIKOLEE: And as they enter into new phases of their business, like all businesses do, they go through cycles, and we’re there to help them once it reaches new level of complexity, where they’re… maybe they’re trying to achieve scalability, or maybe they’re trying add additional services. We can help them through those challenges and implement those changes within their firm.

    CHRIS: Kimberly, Nikolee, thank you very much for joining us today and sharing your insights.

    NIKOLEE: Thank you.

    KIMBERLY: It was a pleasure, thank you.

  • Read transcript

    This is a transcript of unscripted speech, rather than written prose, and therefore should not be relied on for grammatical accuracy. This is not a verbatim transcript. Parts have been slightly modified to improve readability.

    On-screen text:
    Schwab Advisor Services™
    Technology Services

    On-screen text:
    Chris Reedy
    Managing Director, Advisor Services Business Development

    CHRIS REEDY: Hello, I’m Chris Reedy, Managing Director of Business Development for Schwab Advisor Services. I’m joined today by Mike Williams, Managing Director, who leads our technology consulting team that works with advisors considering going independent. Welcome.

    MIKE WILLIAMS: Thanks, Chris. Glad to be here.

    CHRIS: So, Mike, how you’ve been at Schwab?

    On-screen text:
    Mike Williams
    Managing Director, Technology Platform Sales

    MIKE: Chris, I’ve been at Schwab for just over 24 years, you know, working on the consulting business, you know, helping advisors choose technologies from portfolio management, to client relationship management, and financial planning tools. So excited to have this opportunity to help advisors look at turning independent.

    CHRIS: So, Mike, what do you like about your role?

    MIKE: Chris what I like best about my role is the opportunity to work with firms that are looking to go independent. I mean, it’s an exciting time for those individuals, trying to decide should they start their own practice. It’s an exciting time, but a scary time. So having the opportunity to kind of be that coach in that important decision process in their life, and helping them think about all of the things they could do. And then I think the biggest win for me is actually seeing these firms be successful and knowing that I played a small part in that decision process.

    CHRIS: Walk me through a little bit about how your team helps advisors.

    MIKE: Okay. Well, our team helps advisors… I really look at it in three different ways. Our main focus is to get them comfortable with the tools and capabilities we have as a custodian, the technologies we bring to the table to do business with us. Then we also, you know, sort of play that coach role in trying to help them understand the tools and resources they will need day one. You know, the great thing about going independent is there are hundreds of firms out there that are catering to independent firms and the capabilities they will need. Again, that’s sort of a challenge there, trying to evaluate all these different tools. Again, that’s our team’s approach is to really help you narrow that down to a handful of solutions, and helping you really then pick the right solution for you firm. And then it’s understanding where you want to take your firm, and then some of the what are the nice-to-haves that we can later? How will those marry to those solutions we’re helping you choose right out of the gate?

    CHRIS: What makes your team different than what’s out there from the competition?

    MIKE: Well Schwab understands how important it is to make the right decision upfront. We want firms to make it through the transition period as smooth as possible, but we want them to stay focused on growing. Most of the firms we’re talking talk are in growth mode and looking to ‘How do I get to the next level?’ You know, our team is there to make sure they don’t miss a beat as they go through that transition period.

    Having that dedicated resource allows someone to completely focus on that advisor’s specific needs, making sure they’re there any time, that they need to vet, a specific capability, or really understand the capabilities of the solutions they’re looking at, how those systems work together. Again, making sure that the advisor is comfortable with that decision process.

    CHRIS: Advisors that are looking to go independent probably already have some sort of suite of technology solutions they’re using right now. What can they do differently with technology once they become an RIA?

    MIKE: Well, a great thing is they have the flexibility to decide what’s right for them. A lot of the people we’re talking to that are coming out of the wirehouses or the IBD space, they have technology, but, in most cases, it’s chosen for them. Most cases, they’re… may even be paying for technology they’re not even using. You know, the sad thing is if they got something that’s not working for them, they’re kind of locked in and they can’t change. Once they’re an independent firm, they have the flexibility to decide what’s right for them. If something’s not working, they can pull the plug on it.

    CHRIS: So 24 years with Schwab you’ve seen a lot of change in the technology space. What do you see the next changes be coming down the road?

    MIKE: Yeah, Chis, I see more things moving to the cloud, big data, having access to service your clients in different ways. A perfect example would be around the automated investment space. New tools coming to the table to help advisors streamline the opening of account process, more self-service. When it comes to actually managing the assets, we’re seeing a lot of traction around our Institutional Intelligent Portfolios, where advisors are able to build model portfolios, and actually having those systems rebalance the account, having those accounts raise cash for clients automatically.

    CHRIS: Why should advisors choose to work with Schwab Advisor Services?

    MIKE: Why should advisors choose to work with Schwab Advisor Services? Three things come to mind. Really, just our experience in the industry. We really helped define this industry. When you think about 30 years ago, as this RIA space started to take off, Schwab was right there helping advisors think about how to set up firms. Next would be our technology. I’m the technology guy, so I believe we’ve got the best technology out there. Really, I think our approach to technology, allowing the advisor to decide what their platform is, us opening up our systems to allow some of the best-of-breed third-party technology systems to have access to the data for the advisor to run their business, service their clients.

    And last but not least, probably the most important piece is the people. I mean, really we come to work every day, our main focus is taking care of our clients, advisors, helping our advisors wow their clients. At the end of the day taking care of the people that are most important to you, your clients is really what drives and makes people excited at Schwab to be… come to work every day.

    CHRIS: Mike, thank you for joining us today and providing all your insights.

    MIKE: Thank you, Chris. It’s a pleasure to be here today.

    CHRIS: Thanks.

  • Read transcript

    This is a transcript of unscripted speech, rather than written prose, and therefore should not be relied on for grammatical accuracy. This is not a verbatim transcript. Parts have been slightly modified to improve readability.

    On-screen text:
    Schwab Advisor Services™
    Service Professionals

    On-screen text:
    Jeff Blumenthal
    Managing Director, Advisor Services Business Development

    JEFF BLUMENTHAL: Hi, I’m Jeff Blumenthal, Managing Director of West Coast Sales for Schwab Advisor Services, and I’m joined, today with Tina Kerr from the Schwab Advisor Services Service and Client Support group. Morning.

    TINA KERR: Good morning.

    JEFF: So I know you’ve been a Schwab over 10 years, and you spend a lot of time with clients. What’s a typical conversation with a client?

    On-screen text:
    Tina Kerr
    Senior Team Manager, Service

    TINA: So the conversations are different every day. It’s part of what I actually love about it, is that it’s never the same. A lot of them are some of the, ‘I need help doing this.’ ‘I need help doing that.’ They call the service team and they get to have one single point of contact of their service team. And we get to act as their quarterback, advocating for them with all of our different departments working with New Accounts, Retirement Services, making sure that those business partners understand the advisor relationship and, we really get to act, again, for the advocate for the advisor and their client, making sure that we’re working to get the best possible solution.

    We get to know our advisors, their children, even cheering on the same sports teams and going through that. I just had an email from a client who we’re talking about the recent hockey playoffs, and making sure… or talking about those. So it’s just building those relationships over the phone that we prefer. But we do have, of course, the electronic methods of getting in touch with us for those that prefer that. Maybe they’re on the road and they can only communicate through email. We have secure email messaging that they can communicate through that, as well.

    JEFF: Does Schwab do anything to measure service?

    TINA: Yeah, so we go out to our clients, with a third party, and ask them to rate what they think of service. And we are the leading custodian in that, and it’s something that we take very serious. Myself, as a manager, I follow up with the folks who respond to those surveys, asking for feedback, and not just whenever they respond to a survey, but on a continual basis, making sure, again, that we are making… that our service is what it is that they need. So it’s not just a one-time thing where we check in. It’s an ongoing relationship, again, making sure that we’re meeting their needs.

    JEFF: What do you think differentiates service at Schwab?

    TINA: It’s our culture. We really strive to see things through the clients’ eyes, again making sure that the client is taken care of, making sure that the advisor can really service the clients in the way that they want to. Each of our advisors are different, and so we need to make sure that we are tailoring our service so that they can serve their clients in the way that they see fit.

    JEFF: Can you talk a little bit about how you hire employees?

    TINA: So we have a very high tenure on our service teams. We work very hard to hire the individuals who are here to service clients. It’s about customer service, client service, not necessarily, you know, knowing everything about the industry. It’s ‘Are you going to be there to support our clients and provide the highest level of customer service?’ And we work very hard. Of course, there are folks who we’ll promote and move on within the organization, but we work hard for the succession planning it’s a focus, making sure that we have the right folks to move in when somebody does move on.

    JEFF: So we talked a little bit about advisor technology. What kind of technology is available for end clients?

    TINA: The end clients have access to the Schwab Alliance website, and then they can also do the mobile app, as well. This allows them to view their accounts easily, also allows them to approve electronic authorizations of money movements, which is just a fast and secure way to be able to get their money.

    JEFF: When you work with new advisors that have transitioned out of an independent broker-dealer what are the big a-ha’s that are different about workflow or our approach?

    TINA: Yeah. I think the big thing is that they’re not alone. I know that sometimes it’s scary for them kind of thinking that they’re going to branch off onto their own, doing their own business, but Schwab is here to support them. That’s what our business is and we do it well according to our clients. So they’re not alone. It’s something that we will help them through, and, they will be happier on the other side being able to service their clients the way that they want to.

    JEFF: Tina, thanks you for your time this morning. It sounds like you have a lot of passion, ah, about serving advisors, and, ah, appreciate all your feedback today.

    TINA: Yeah, a pleasure being here.

    JEFF: All right.

    TINA: Thank you.

    JEFF: Thanks.

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