Viewpoints

What About Us?

Schwab's Talk to Chuck campaign is tough to miss. Buses, billboards and television screens have all been plastered with Chuck Schwab's friendly face in an effort to interest investors in his firm's investing and advisory services. Now the RIA advisors who custody on Schwab's platform are asking What about us? At a recent Schwab Institutional conference, one advisor posed that question directly to

Schwab's “Talk to Chuck” campaign is tough to miss. Buses, billboards and television screens have all been plastered with Chuck Schwab's friendly face in an effort to interest investors in his firm's investing and advisory services. Now the RIA advisors who custody on Schwab's platform are asking “What about us?” At a recent Schwab Institutional conference, one advisor posed that question directly to the Executive Vice President of Schwab Institutional, Charles Goldman: Why can't the firm put the same muscle into an advertising campaign specifically tailored for its investment advisors? The answer: You're too difficult. Well, not exactly. Goldman said his team is struggling to come up with a simple message that can express what RIAs do well for clients in a 30-second clip. The real selling point for RIAs used to be that they were required to act as fiduciaries — unlike most Wall Street brokers. That's not an easy thing to explain in the first place, but now, with “The Merrill Rule” overturned, even that distinction has blurred. “You are our best-kept secret,” Goldman told them. “We're just trying to keep it simple. If you all have ideas for that, tell us — because we haven't figured it out.”

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