“Schwab is back; the turnaround is real,” proclaimed Christopher Dodds, the CFO

of Charles Schwab & Co. at the opening session in Seattle on September 26 of

Impact 2005, the annual gathering of advisors who do business with Schwab

Institutional (SI). Dodds was referring to the financial turnaround at Schwab

reflected in the company’s first-half 2005 results: while revenue was flat at

$2.14 billion, net income was up 21% to $331 million, and as of the end of

August, Schwab had $1.1trillion in client assets. Dodds pledged that “we are

committed to Schwab Institutional and to investing in you,” and pointed out that

SI has produced the company’s “least volatile” revenue–SI is accounting for 17%

of Schwab revenue.

Deborah McWhinney, president of SI, kicked off the conference by praising

independent advisors as “great businesspeople, great innovators, and great

multitaskers” who are the “fastest growing segment of the financial services

industry,” despite having no advertising budgets, and who now serve as “the

primary advisor to high-net-worth” clients. McWhinney announced that SI would

roll out in the fourth quarter a new business development program for advisors,

tentatively labeled “Project Nova,”a program called Impact Awards to be

presented next year, including a Schwab Leadership Award, and specifically

welcomed advisors with smaller practices.