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Schwab announces winners of 2011 Impact Awards – Donates $25,000 to 10,000 Degrees

Awards to Honor Independent Investment Advisors Go To Richard Stone of Private Ocean; Budros, Ruhlin & Roe, Inc.; Green Square Capital, LLC.

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 03, 2011(BUSINESS WIRE) — Today, Charles Schwab, a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for nearly 7,000 independent investment advisory firms, announced the winners of its sixth annual IMPACT Awards(R) — an awards program that recognizes advisors and firms that have advanced the industry through their visionary leadership, innovative practices and exceptional growth. The winners were recognized during a ceremony at Schwab's IMPACT(R) 2011 conference, one of the nation's largest and longest-running annual gatherings of independent investment advisors. Profiles and videos of the winners are available online at https://www.impactawards.schwab.com/winners2011.asp.

On behalf of Richard Stone of Private Ocean, Schwab made a $25,000 donation to 10,000 Degrees and Dominican University.business management. The Leadership Award was presented to Richard Stone, CEO of CA-based Private Ocean, and member of the Board of Trustees at Dominican University of California where he serves on the finance committee and is Treasurer of the University. Stone started his journey in the industry more than 40 years ago when he became one of 41 graduates in the first class of Certified Financial Planners credentialed by the College for Financial Planning in the US. His passion for ethics has left a lasting influence not only on his clients and associates, but also on the industry. When the International Association of Financial Planners needed its first code of ethics for the industry, Stone stepped up to chair the committee that wrote it. His strong commitment to education and community led him to create the Private Ocean Scholarship to support financially disadvantaged students seeking a college education. 

Stone's passion extends beyond the industry itself. Helping clients achieve their financial goals is something he takes personally and that his colleagues attribute to his many longstanding client relationships. He takes a personal, comprehensive, ethical and collaborative approach with each client. Stone is an industry expert who has devoted a great deal of time to cultivating not only client relationships, but also the next generation of financial planners. 

Stone was a pioneer in taking a fee-based approach to investment advice, transitioning to this model in the early nineties. His firm today manages more than $700 million in assets for individuals and families. 

Budros, Ruhlin & Roe, Inc. is the Best-inBusiness Award winner for its excellence in The firm was founded in Columbus, OH, by Jim Budros and Peggy Ruhlin who were committed to the concept of fee-only financial advisory work during a time when this was a radical concept. Today, the firm manages more than $1.5 billion in assets. The firm prides itself on its 20-year-old "Constitution" to provide clients with the very best wealth management services, to respect employees and help them grow in their jobs, to continuously strive for improvement, to earn and be worthy of clients' trust, and to have fun and make a profit. The firm is committed to strategic planning and brings in their business management coach to meet with firm principals on a regular basis to help drive strategic planning initiatives around what they've dubbed the "Five Ps" — Plan = People, Platform, Promotion, Profit. Additionally, over the past 15 years, they've committed 400% more resources to tell their story to target clients and their centers of influence. 

Their best practices in management include dedicating substantial resources to technology: hardware, software and developing a team of IT professionals. This resource commitment has enabled Budros, Ruhlin & Roe, Inc. to triple their business over the past 10 years. They take full advantage of their CRM system to track client contacts, work-flow, business development efforts, compliance activities, and even their compensation plan achievements. Rather than having their client services professionals work on bringing in new business, in 2006 the firm chose to hire an experienced business development professional. The result has been significant for the firm: average annual new client revenue increased 38% over the prior five years, total AUM increased by 70%, and total revenue increased by 60%. 

Their career development program and unique incentive compensation plan rewards behaviors that work toward achieving the firm's strategic goals. All principals are paid equal compensation, and professional staff is compensated for superior client service and technical knowledge rather than business development. They've had a written succession plan in place for over 10 years that they feel will ensure the stability and longevity of the firm following the founders' eventual retirements. 

The Pacesetter Award winner, Green Square Capital, LLC, based out of Memphis, TN, recognized a need and an opportunity to build their own organization and provide an independent registered investment advisor platform for wealthy families. In 2001, founders Darrell Horn and Steve Sansom left Goldman Sachs to start their own firm. The firm has grown substantially over the years and today they manage in excess of $1 billion in AUM. 

Green Square Capital attributes their best practice of open communication in part to the 30% annual growth it experienced in 2010. Daily huddles enable the team to discuss what they are working on, identify metrics aligned with their strategic plans, and concentrate on where they are "stuck." Communication and a solid strategic plan drive the growth of their firm. As part of their strategic plan, they created the firm's core values, vision, and stated its 10-year, 3-year, annual and then quarterly goals in a one page plan. They believe that by moving from broad goals to quarterly ones you are forced to identify the actionable steps you must take and measure to achieve your short-term and longer-term goals. 

The firm has outlined an aggressive campaign for growth over the next 10 years, focusing on business development, scalable investment strategies, and institutionalizing exceptional client service. They've identified annual priorities, which include optimizing their platform to achieve at least 30% efficiency and creating three highly functioning client coverage teams that communicate regularly and create an automated process to cultivate new centers of influence to grow referrals. 

Client retention is critical to the firm because its target client market (high-net worth families with an average of $12 million AUM) is narrow. They've instituted a policy of "Client Delight" by which the services and actions taken by client-facing employees not only satisfies clients, but also delights them. The firm finds that delighted clients refer new business. "Client Delights" are logged into the CRM system, tracked and measured against goals. Constantly measuring against their goals and fulfilling their brand promise to listen to clients, strive to deliver what they want and need, and build trust every day stands at the forefront of the firm's success. 

"This year's IMPACT Award winners raise the bar for excellence in client service and exemplary business practices for the independent RIA industry," said Bernie Clark, executive vice president and head of Schwab Advisor Services, to the more than 4,000 attendees gathered at the IMPACT conference in San Francisco, CA. "We commend them for their dedication to investors, the industry and their communities, and we thank them for providing a learning opportunity for other advisors by sharing their best practices and achievements." 

As part of the IMPACT Awards program, the Leadership Award winner receives a $25,000 donation from Schwab to the charity of his/her choice; other award winners are granted $10,000 donations from Schwab to designate to the charities of their choosing. Schwab made a $10,000 donation to The Budros, Ruhlin & Roe Fund at The Columbus Foundation on behalf of Budros, Ruhlin & Roe, Inc. Schwab donated $10,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South, Inc. on behalf of Green Square Capital, LLC. 

The 2011 IMPACT Awards winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges, including Julie Littlechild, President of Advisor Impact; Sean R. Walters, Executive Director and CEO, Investment Management Consultants Association; Dr. Thomas R. Robinson, Managing Director, Education, CFA Institute. 

About the IMPACT Awards Independent investment advisors have fundamentally changed the financial services landscape by providing independent investment advice to affluent investors. The IMPACT Awards, established by Schwab in 2006, recognize these contributions by honoring advisors and firms that have advanced the industry through their visionary leadership, operational excellence and technology innovation. The Leadership Award recognizes an outstanding leader who embodies the value of independent investment advice through vision and commitment, as well as community engagement. The Best-in-Business Award goes to an independent investment advisory firm that has been in business 10 years or more, and has elevated business management to new levels of excellence and achieved exceptional business results. The Pacesetter Award pays tribute to an independent investment advisory firm in business 10 years or less who has shown initiative, growth and promise. The IMPACT Awards are judged by a panel of recognized experts and presented at IMPACT(R), one of the industry's leading conferences. For more information, visit www.impactawards.schwab.com.

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