The winners of Schwab Institutional’s second annual Impact Awards were announced at the firm’s advisor conference in Las Vegas (October 28-31). Dr. Lewis J. Altfest received the Charles R. Schwab Impact Award from firm founder and chairman Chuck Schwab. Altfest is president of L.J. Altfest & Co., New York, a professor at Pace University and author, among other works, of the textbook, Personal Financial Planning.
Also recognized were Abacus Planning Group, Columbia, South Carolina–Pacesetter Award; Moneta Group, St. Louis, Missouri–Best-in-Business Award; and Friedman & Associates, Novato, California–Best-in-Tech Award.
One of the highlights of past Impact shows has been a townhall meeting where top Schwab Institutional executives took unscripted and often tough questions from advisor attendees. That session didn’t happen at Impact 2006, but this year it came back with a twist: in addition to the head of SI, Charles Goldman, this sitdown featured the president and COO of Charles Schwab Corp.–Walt Bettinger.
In prepared remarks, Bettinger highlighted the “incredibly important role” advisors play in Schwab’s overall strategy, and that there’s been particular “validation within the past year of the relatively simple business model” of SI. In response to a question, Bettinger said “Schwab is an incredibly health company,” spurred by “almost completely organic” growth. Speaking to the subprime mortgage issue and the credit crunch that followed, Bettinger pledged that “Protecting the value of money funds is paramount to us.”