Schwab Impact 2019 CEO Reflections

Schwab is on fire! Our team was blown away by the wave of technology and innovation that was on display at their recent Schwab Impact conference. The high caliber of attendees, sessions, asset managers, vendors and of course the parties, added up to an unforgettable experience in sunny San Diego.

Here at Flyer, we are proud to be a partner of Schwab and we always look forward to catching up with our friends and meeting new ones at their annual event.

The panoply of new front office technology was off the charts this year and this was no surprise given how Schwab positioned the conferences as going “All In” on the digital experience. This was evident from their move to all digital account opening where all new Schwab advisors coming on board will be “Digital Office” (no manual paperwork process).

The agenda was chalk full of digital themes from how to “future ready” your RIA, how to “leverage data and advanced analytics,” and becoming the “digital integrated advisor” … and that was just day 1.

I was also impressed by the new capabilities on display in Schwab’s Technology Alley. I was honored for Flyer to be included in Bill Winterberg’s video that will be coming out next week where he showcases his picks for top wealthtech innovators. I was also heartened to see that Schwab wasn’t the only firm focused on API integrations. Countless vendors showcased their API capabilities including Flyer with our recent Co-Pilot partnership announcements with Riskalyze & Tamarac.

However, what I found particularly refreshing was the focus on back office technology. The industry has now moved beyond developing the latest rebalancer and evolved into a broader trend of back office automation from portfolio management tools to allocations to compliance checks and much more.

Some of the new back office tools and capabilities we saw that are now available:

  • Eliminate manual file uploads, logging into separate screens, manually typing orders, confirming executions and verifying allocations.
  • Block client orders by symbol, side and custodian and process trades automatically allocating the shares into client accounts resulting in the exact same price for each account.
  • Real-time trading allows advisors to get immediate visibility now into orders and executions across all accounts and custodians so when the market is moving, they no longer have to wait until the following day to get results.
  • Software and tools to seamlessly access new asset classes like bonds and alternatives

Regardless of which digital experience you were seeking, you couldn’t miss a massive sea change toward a younger demographic from previous Schwab Impact conferences. Hundreds of young advisors were clearly there to rethink the traditional RIA model and refresh the way their office operates.

Schwab’s “All In” effort was focused on being a one-stop-shop for advisors and specifically opened the doors for tech, accessibility and growth for these younger advisors and all attendees.

My team and I are already booked for 2020. See you there!

Brian Ross, CEO