Schwab announced Thursday that three RIA firms were the winners of the custodian’s seventh annual Impact Awards. The three recipients were Foster Group Inc.; Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney; and Glassman Wealth Services.
The awards, which include a $15,000 donation in the name of each winning firm to each firm’s charities of their choice and separate donations of $1,000 a to each judges’ charity of choice, presented by Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger and Schwab Advisor Services’ head Bernie Clark at Schwab Impact 2012 in Chicago.
The three winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Julie Littlechild, president of Advisor Impact; Sean Walters, executive director and CEO of IMCA; and Thomas Robinson, managing director for education at the CFA Institute.
The Best-in-Business Schwab Impact Award was presented to Foster Group Inc., based in West Des Moines, Iowa. Foster is an RIA firm with more than $1.1 billion in AUM and 850 clients in 38 states. It was founded in 1989 by Jerry Foster.
“There are a couple of reasons,” Foster said, when asked by AdvisorOne about the win. “We had a commitment to succession planning early on, one that’s combined with a culture that is employee-oriented and focused on leadership development. We also have a commitment to technology, and have spun off our technology platform into a separate company which other advisors are now using. Lastly, we have great strategic relationships; for instance, we’re part of the Zero Alpha Group.”
Winning the inaugural Trailblazer award was the McLean, Va.-based Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney. The RIA firm, acquired by Harris Bank in 2003 and part of BMO Private Bank, has more than $2 billion in AUM. The award was created, Schwab said, “to recognize a firm that combines an entrepreneurial spirit with a drive to advance the RIA industry’s interests.”
In addition to being a highly respected wealth management firm, Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney also encourages its staff to become involved in philanthropic and community activities and to take leadership roles in advisor associations.