Business Consulting & Education
Propel your firm forward with personalized strategic business consulting and executive education.
Guiding Principles for Advisory Firm Success
We align our consulting and education programs around Schwab's Guiding Principles for Advisory Firm Success, which help you navigate the complexities of growing your firm. These five principles help you create focus and develop a clear path forward.
The Guiding Principles
- Effective planning and execution is a leading indicator of success.
- Value is defined through your clients' eyes.
- Operational excellence creates greater capacity for clients.
- Your reputation is your brand.
- People are your most important asset.
How we work with advisors
When you engage with Schwab, you receive the full power of the insights we’ve gained—through clear and actionable consulting and education programs focused on the key business challenges you face. Working together in support of your vision, we can convert insights into actions that elevate your firm to new levels of success.
Our core philosophy
- We focus only on independent advisory firms, concentrating our expertise on a core set of issues growing firms encounter.
- We work collaboratively with advisors to generate actionable insights that drive results.
- We believe the most transformative outcomes are achieved when we can challenge advisors' thinking and uncover powerful opportunities that lead to meaningful change.
- Our work is rooted in gaining a deep understanding of advisors’ unique challenges and the future they envision for their firm.
Business management and technology consulting
Our engagements are designed to go deep into your business with you, exploring your unique situation and bringing our years of RIA experience to support you in advancing your firm.
Business Planning & Strategy
Core consulting engagements
- Mastering Strategic Planning—Create a road map to achieve your firm’s vision, and align your leadership team on strategic goals and business priorities—including firm investments and hiring.
- Transition on Your Terms—Craft a succession plan that supports the unique goals of firm owners and lays the foundation for your firm’s continuity and your employees’ and clients' continued well-being.
- Firm Performance and Benchmarking Consultation—Understand how your firm performs in critical business measures to help guide your strategic decisions. Firms who participate in the RIA Benchmarking Study work together with their relationship manager to identify strengths and opportunities.
Growth & Profitability
Core consulting engagements
- Defining Your Value—Define your firm's ideal client persona (ICP) and client value proposition (CVP) as a foundational step toward making key business decisions such as developing a strategic business plan, designing a marketing strategy, and evolving the client experience.
- Creating a Referral Culture—Train and energize your staff to bring your firm’s value proposition to life through memorable, repeatable narratives for authentic conversations with prospects and clients.
- Leveraging Centers of Influence—Develop a well-crafted strategy to activate your professional networks and consistently generate high-quality referrals.
- Managing Client Profitability—Explore segmentation as a way to create capacity, increase productivity, and ensure profitability while safeguarding an exceptional client experience.
- Amplifying Your Value—Understand the critical role marketing plays through consistently communicating your firm’s value. Develop a targeted and integrated marketing plan—including digital strategies—to amplify that value in a way that wins new clients and drives firm growth.
Technology & Operations
Core consulting engagements
- Mapping the Ideal Client Journey—Learn an innovative, repeatable journey mapping method to elevate your client experience and increase productivity. Re-imagine your workflows, address your operational strengths and weaknesses, and create a clear action plan that drives lasting change.
- Optimizing Your CRM—Assess your current CRM use, and develop a well-defined plan to help you make a CRM-centric work environment a reality.
- Transforming the Client Experience—Create a technology strategy and action plan that ensures an excellent—and manageable—experience for clients while helping you streamline processing, increase flexibility, and simplify interactions.
Core consulting and online education
Cybersecurity consulting engagement—Uncover potential cybersecurity gaps through an in-depth assessment, and develop a detailed action plan to help strengthen and maintain your firm’s program.
Cybersecurity Resource Center—A resource designed to give you information, tools, and a guided process to help you:
- Understand the regulatory and fraud environment
- Develop, strengthen, and maintain your cybersecurity program
- Educate employees on roles and responsibilities for protecting firm and client information
- Educate clients on best practices for protecting information
Virtual Practice Management
Our programs put you first, equipping you with guidance and best practices to help you strategically align your firm for ongoing success. Take advantage of opportunities to work with Schwab experts and fellow advisors, while choosing from topics that are most valuable and timely for your firm – including ideal client persona and client value proposition, strategic planning and cybersecurity.
Benchmarking Study and tools
Schwab's annual RIA Benchmarking Study makes it easy to see where your firm stands in critical business measures relative to your peers. Well over 1,000 firms participate annually— representing over $1 trillion in assets under management—to gain deep insights that help guide their strategic decision-making.
RIA Benchmarking Study
The power of the RIA Benchmarking Study lies in the robust peer data it provides—data that lets you clearly see how your business is performing in the marketplace.
- Peer Report—When you participate, you receive a 45-page customized report that provides key performance indicators—asset & revenue growth, financial performance, staffing levels & productivity, sources of new clients, services & pricing, and technology spending—that benchmark your results compared with firms of a similar size and business model.
- Compensation Report—When you complete the compensation section, you also receive a personalized Compensation Report. You’ll get national and regional salary and incentive data drawn from thousands of employees in key roles, as well as employee benefit and ownership distribution information.
- Compensation Tool—Compensation study participants also receive access to Schwab’s dynamic online tool for additional industry-specific information.
Why advisors participate in the study
Watch videos to hear directly from advisors about how they've leveraged information and insights from their customized Benchmarking Study results to evolve their firms.
Technology Adoption Scorecard
The scorecard lets firms benchmark their adoption of technology against that of their peers.
In a user-friendly format, the scorecard helps firms identify opportunities to improve their back-office efficiency and enhance their client experience. It also opens access to resources, tools, and training to help firms take action.
Education and leadership
We are committed to helping your firm succeed and grow with compelling education and powerful insights.
Executive Leadership Program
This exclusive one-year program of personal and professional growth is designed to prepare promising leaders to manage and grow RIA firms. The program combines premier academic curricula and faculty from some of the nation’s top graduate schools, one-on-one executive coaching, and the deep industry experience of Schwab Advisor Services™.
Through meeting in person and connecting during weekly discussions, participants build valuable connections with other future leaders—leaders who continue to support one another through their careers.
Take the lead on industry trends and best practices with our comprehensive white papers covering a range of RIA-specific topics, from strategic planning to building an effective referral strategy.
Schwab Advisor University®
Learn how to get the most from Schwab Advisor Center® tools and enhance firm productivity by leveraging a range of online training courses.
SOLUTIONS is an annual, one-day workshop in select cities across the country designed to help firms run their technology and operations more efficiently and securely. You’ll gain insights directly from Schwab’s technology specialists, along with opportunities to network with your peers.
Let's talk about how Schwab can fuel your business success
Whether you're exploring independence or curious how switching custodians can make a difference, Schwab Business Development Officers are here to help.
All conversations are confidential. We welcome questions from all advisors—no matter your background, AUM, or ambition.