Schwab Advisor Services today is expanding its "Insight to Action" practice management consulting program for its registered investment advisors customers that provides support on growing and managing their businesses.

The curriculum is to be available in select cities on the following topics: strategic planning, managing profitability, technology integration and succession planning. After its initial launch last year, Schwab is adding more topics and dates to the program. Schwab will have demonstrated at least one of its three advisor services in 18 cities across the country by year end. To date, Schwab officials say over 600 advisors have participated in at least one of the programs.

Nick Georgis, vice president of Schwab Advisor Services, says rapid firm growth and increasing competition have made running an RIA more complex. "Through the 'Insight to Action' program, Schwab business consultants and relationship managers work with advisors to help them expand their business to get it to the next level."  

Schwab's development of the program is drawn from the firm's annual RIA Benchmarking that focuses on RIAs, capturing trends and best practices in the RIA industry based on data from participating firms. According to the study, best-managed firms -- those of all sizes and business models in the top 20% based on profitability, productivity and growth -- have seen double the revenue growth rate and margin and almost 50 percent higher revenue per professional than all other firms in the study. Schwab's insight from these firms helped shape course curriculum.

Georgis anticipates that between 750-775 RIA firms will have participated in one at least one program. He says there's a wide range in size of participating RIA firms with the typical firm with between $300-to-$500 million in investable assets.         

Schwab's "Insight to Action" curriculum covers to following:

Mastering Strategic Planning
-- For advisors seeking to complete and implement a strategic plan, this curriculum breaks down the process into manageable steps and provides advisors a written strategic plan that they can use to start building the future of their firm.

Managing Client Profitability -- This curriculum helps firms analyze and optimize client profitability and determine the cost to serve clients.

Transition On Your Terms -- This curriculum designed to guide an advisor to create a written succession plan. 

Schwab has also created a new workshop to target the technology challenges that RIAs face. Called "Driving Productivity: How Best-Managed Firms Leverage Technology," the workshop offers industry best practices for using a CRM, provides an overview of the solutions offered through Schwab Intelligent Technologies, and facilitates interactive exercises. The session helps RIAs enhance the client experience, streamline business processes, manage profitability, and begin to outline a technology action plan for their firm.

San Francisco-based financial services provider Charles Schwab Corp. operates more than 300 offices and 8.7 million active brokerage accounts, 1.52 million corporate retirement plan participants, 822,000 banking accounts, and $1.80 trillion in client assets as of June 30.

by Jim McConville