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Schwab IMPACT hits speed bumps in its 27th year on the stage, in the kitchen, with long lines and in the hard questions RIAs asked

Walt Bettinger and Bernie Clark contended with 2018 technology that showed the RIA audience the -- sometimes awkward -- questions on a mega-screen

Author Timothy D. Welsh November 1, 2018 at 2:03 AM
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Under charcoal RIA grilling, Walt Bettinger (shown here in a picture of the stage screen) went so far to make amends by offering up his personal email address to any advisor who is in a competitive situation.

Tracey Gordon

Tracey Gordon

November 1, 2018 — 10:09 PM
20 years ago when I ran PR for a good portion of Schwab's non-advisor businesses, the issue of retail vs advisor began to burn. Advisors argued that every move in the retail business was aimed at nibbling at their growth. We put a lot of effort into balancing the discussion with both sides, and both sides have seen enormous growth. Two decades later, the concern over that nibbling is still evident, but of chief concern, trust has become wobbly as is reflected in this piece. Why it's become such a challenge for Schwab to have an effective conversation with the 5,000 attendees this week vs the 1,500 who attended back then is beyond me. There are a lot of companies with diverse client channels that manage to do it. With Schwab, messaging is getting shaky and that's always a great concern for all, Schwab's C-suite and its PR department, but most of all its customers, who really do want to trust in the firm and its message.

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