Valuable learning everywhere.


Education is the cornerstone of IMPACT. We carefully design our sessions to cover topics vital to running a successful RIA practice in an ever-changing industry.

A unique, complete approach.

Learn the latest ways to maintain peak firm performance.

For any firm to be successful, the day-to-day operations—cybersecurity, technology, team engagement, and regulatory compliance—must first be optimized.

Adopt the latest strategies for delighting clients.

At the end of the day, the investor is everything. It pays to ensure that every client feels comfortable, confident, and personally and expertly served at all times, from every touchpoint.

Know how every industry shift impacts you.

Next-gen investors, new technology advances, and other complex and constant changes have an impact on how every RIA firm should operate. What remains constant is your need to differentiate.

Firm operations

From sales, marketing, cybersecurity, and technology to regulatory compliance and succession planning, hear expert instruction on ways to optimize the day-to-day details.

Employee experience

Learn valuable top practices for attracting, engaging, and retaining the top talent available by treating your team like your premier clients.

Wealth management

Gain practical tools for continuing to grow and thrive through the headwinds of global market forces, geopolitical events, a trend toward passive investing, and more.

Client experience

Stay ahead of client needs and expectations. Learn cutting-edge approaches for effectively serving investors as they transition from millennials and young married couples through parenthood and retirement.


Hear how to differentiate your business and maintain positive momentum. Gain practical insights for keeping pace with ever-changing regulations, technology, social and demographic change, client service advances, and more.

Something for every learning style.

Pre-conference Session

Start your conference with a hands-on, outcome-based workshop examining an industry hot topic and concluding with a welcome reception.

  • 3 hours
  • 30 to 50 attendees

Keynote/General Sessions

These popular sessions feature internationally renowned speakers delivering keynotes sure to inspire, challenge, and possibly even change your point of view.

  • 1 hour each
  • 2,000 attendees

Education Sessions

Many education sessions run concurrently during IMPACT, and each equips you with new insights on specific topics that you can implement right away.

  • 1 hour to 75 minutes each
  • 100 to 300 attendees

Showcase Sessions

Held on four separate stages in the Exchange, our showcase sessions offer a brief overview of an idea or innovation from a leading technology or investment provider.

  • 30 minutes each
  • 50 to 100 attendees

Extended Education Sessions

These implementation-focused sessions take a deep dive into a specific topic, complete with a speaker presentation, peer discussions, and an extended Q&A.

  • 90 to 120 minutes each
  • 50 to 100 attendees

Snapshot Sessions

These presentations are designed to spotlight initiative thinking and encourage discussion. Learn tactics and strategies that may be implemented immediately upon returning home.

  • 30 to 60 minutes each
  • 30 to 50 attendees
Meet our speakers

Most sessions qualify for continuing education (CE) credits for:

Credit for Certified Financial Planners (CFPs)

Here are three easy steps to receive credit:

  1. Provide your CFP Board ID at registration.
  2. Attend an approved session.
  3. Schwab will submit your credit within 30 days.

To receive credit, please provide your CFP Board ID number when you register for IMPACT. If you do not know this number, please contact the CFP Board at 800-487-1497 or log in to the CFP Board website and access your account information. When you attend a CFP-approved session, please be sure your badge is scanned upon entry so that we have a record of your attendance.

As a CFP Board–registered CE sponsor, Schwab will electronically submit a list of event attendees for each CFP-approved session to the CFP Board within 30 days of event completion. You will receive an email confirmation from the CFP Board when your credit has been processed. You can also check the status of your CE hours on the CFP website.

Credit for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)

Here are three easy steps to receive credit:

  1. Attend an approved session.
  2. Schwab will email you a PDF certificate after the conference.
  3. Submit the certificate to the appropriate organization.

A continuing professional education (CPE) certification form for credit submission will be emailed at the conclusion of the conference. To receive credit, attendees will be responsible for completing the CPE certification form (one per session) and submitting it to the appropriate membership association(s) or state board(s). Please note that it is also the attendee’s responsibility to make a copy of each submission and keep it on file.

Schwab Advisor Services™ is registered with NASBA as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority over the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to:

150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 700
Nashville, TN 37219-2417

Credit for Certified Investment Management Analysts (CIMAs)

Here are three easy steps to receive credit:

  1. Attend an approved session.
  2. Schwab will email you a PDF certificate.
  3. Submit the certificate to the appropriate organization.

CE forms for CIMA credit will be emailed at the conclusion of the conference.

If you hold the CIMA®, CIMC®, or CPWA® certification(s), you also have the option to report this CE program online by logging into your My IMCA account. Detailed reporting instructions can be found on the IMCA website. When reporting online, leave the provider name field blank and fill in only the program ID# and the date attended fields.

Each CIMA licensee is responsible for self-submitting CE documentation for non–IMCA sponsored events. It is the responsibility of the CIMA licensee to keep copies of all items submitted.

If you would like to submit your credit form via fax or mail, please do so to:

Attn: Recertification Department
5619 DTC Parkway, Suite 500
Denver, CO 80111
Fax: 303-496-6105

Email us questions you may have, including those involving administrative policies, self-reporting, or other designations not listed on this page.

The content on the IMPACT® website and in discussions at the IMPACT conference are meant for general informational purposes. The views expressed are not intended to provide specific financial, accounting, compliance, tax, regulatory, or legal advice.

Third-party firms, speakers, panelists, sponsors, and exhibitors are not affiliated with or employed by Schwab. Any mention of third-party firms or individuals is not and should not be construed as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship by Schwab.

The IMPACT Awards® are not a referral to, endorsement or recommendation of, or testimonial for the advisor with respect to its investment advisory or other services.

Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with, or supervised by Schwab.

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., receives remuneration from fund companies for recordkeeping, shareholder services, and other administrative services for shares purchased through its Mutual Fund OneSource® service. Schwab also may receive remuneration from transaction fee fund companies for certain administrative services.

Charles Schwab Advisor Services® serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading, and support services of Schwab.

©2017 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”). All rights reserved. Member SIPC. PER 0817-767U



What is the purpose of the IMPACT Awards program?

Independent investment advisors have fundamentally changed the financial services landscape by providing client-centric, independent advice to affluent investors. Established in 2006 by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”), the IMPACT Awards honor firms that have advanced the industry and have achieved success through exemplary business practices.

As a response to the integration of the independent investment advisor and independent retirement plan provider communities in 2014, an award was added to recognize the unique achievements this group has brought to the retirement plan industry. In addition to the recognition, the awards program provides independent investment advisors and independent retirement plan providers with an opportunity to learn what leading firms are doing by sharing the winners’ best practices and achievements.

What are the IMPACT Awards categories?

Learn more about each IMPACT Award.

How many awards are given?

One winner is selected for each of the four awards.

Do winners receive any prizes?

Winners of each award category are honored at the ceremony, with each firm receiving a trophy and a $15,000 donation to a charitable organization of the winner’s choice. The selection of each winning firm’s charity is subject to Schwab’s approval.


Who is eligible for the IMPACT Awards?

Learn more about the eligibility requirements.

Must my firm have a relationship with Schwab to be eligible for consideration for an IMPACT Award?

Yes. To be considered for an IMPACT Award, firms must use Charles Schwab, Charles Schwab Advisor Services, or Charles Schwab Bank to custody client assets.


How do you participate in the IMPACT Awards program?

Nominations for 2017 are now closed. You can sign up to receive email notification when 2018 IMPACT Award nominations are being accepted.

Is there a limit to how many nominations I can make?

You may nominate your firm once in each category for which you qualify.

If I participated in previous years, can I participate again?

Yes. We encourage you to participate every year. Best-in-Business and leadership award winners, however, will not be allowed to participate in any category for five years; previous Pacesetter Award winners may not participate in the Pacesetter IMPACT Award category again and must wait five years to participate in either of the other three award categories. Winners of the Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award must wait five years before they are eligible for another award in any category.

Is there a fee to participate?

There is no fee to participate in the IMPACT Awards program.

Can I nominate my firm in more than one category?

Yes. You can nominate your firm once in each of the categories for which you qualify. However, multiple nominations for the same firm for the Best-in-Business IMPACT Award, Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award, Pacesetter IMPACT Award, and Trailblazer IMPACT Award are not permitted.

Am I able to provide supplemental materials in addition to the nomination form as part of my award nomination?

At the time of nomination, only a completed form is accepted. Later in the process, Schwab may ask for additional information.

What if I do not complete the data requested on the nomination form?

All fields must be completed for a nomination to be accepted.

May I submit my nomination via regular mail?

No. Only nominations received through the nomination form are accepted.

May my firm use a previously published case study to fulfill the essay portion of the Best-in-Business IMPACT Award, Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award, Pacesetter IMPACT Award, or Trailblazer IMPACT Award nomination?

Yes. Nominations may include previously produced content that is owned by the firm; however, information that is copyrighted by another source cannot be used.

Timeline and Notification

What are the program deadlines?

Nominations for 2017 are now closed. You can sign up to receive email notification when 2018 IMPACT Award nominations are being accepted.

When are the winners of the IMPACT Awards announced?

The IMPACT Awards will be presented at IMPACT 2017, a leading industry conference taking place November 14–17 in Chicago, Illinois. Information about the winners will be posted online after they are announced at the conference.

How are winners notified?

Winners will be notified in September via phone. Winners will be announced at the IMPACT Awards ceremony at IMPACT 2017.

Are runners-up chosen?

Only one winner for each category will be announced. No runners-up are selected.


How are winners selected?

Entries are reviewed to ensure that they meet all eligibility requirements and Schwab criteria. The remaining finalists are then judged by a distinguished panel of leaders from across the business world and financial services industry who understand the challenges and opportunities facing today’s investors and those who serve them. These judges convene to review finalist nominations and select the winners in each category. Final selection is subject to acceptance of the IMPACT Awards terms and conditions and final approval by Schwab. In granting its final approval, Schwab is guided by the criteria for the IMPACT Awards program and also considers which candidates best exemplify the prestige and purpose of the awards and reflect Schwab’s reputation in the marketplace for integrity, service, and value. Schwab has absolute discretion in approving the winners, and Schwab’s decisions in all matters related to the awards and the IMPACT Awards program are final.

What criteria are used to determine the winners?

Nominations for the IMPACT Awards are evaluated based on each firm’s ability to demonstrate success in the following areas.

Best-in-Business IMPACT Award

  • Business planning
  • Technology strategy
  • Practice management and employee development
  • Client loyalty

Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award

  • Business planning in the retirement industry
  • Technology strategy in the retirement industry
  • Practice management and employee development
  • Client loyalty

Pacesetter IMPACT Award
Demonstrated accelerated growth in tandem with the following:

  • Business planning
  • Technology strategy
  • Practice management and employee development
  • Client loyalty

Trailblazer IMPACT Award
Demonstrated change in helping the industry reach new heights, for example:

  • Focused understanding of the unique needs of a specific client segment and a developed, innovative approach to serving them (i.e., a new business model, marketing strategy, or strategic plan)
  • Made a difference in the community through programs to educate new audiences about financial planning
  • Helped shape the industry’s future through advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., or involvement with industry associations
  • Made strides in attracting and cultivating the RIA industry’s next generation of talent
  • Awards or other distinctions

How does Schwab use the information provided through the nomination form?

Information you provide is used to review and judge your nomination for the IMPACT Awards program. Schwab and the judging panel maintain the confidentiality of your nomination. Schwab does not sell the information collected. See the IMPACT Awards terms and conditions for more information.

How is objectivity maintained in the selection process?

Schwab uses the eligibility criteria to review all nominations received. Once Schwab confirms the finalists, a judging panel of industry experts selects the winners for all four awards. All IMPACT Award winners are subject to Schwab’s final approval.

We’re eager to help.

Nomination process

Leon Bridges

His unique sound has taken him from busing tables to performing for President Barack Obama in the White House and making television appearances on The Late Late Show, Saturday Night Live, and Austin City Limits. Bridges and his band have been on two world tours. He received the 2015 Grulke Prize for Developing US Act at the 2015 SXSW Music Festival, where he was a hot topic among both fans and critics.

When you hear his smooth, melodic voice, it’s easy to compare him to Otis Redding or Sam Cooke, and indeed he feels he must carry on the tradition of soul music, honoring the great artists who came before him. But the 26-year-old native of Fort Worth, Texas, whose fame is quickly growing, has his own unique sound, with echoes of gospel and R&B.

For Bridges soul has a raw and imperfect quality that can come only from deep within. As he riffs on the guitar in his retro fedora and suit, he sings from the heart about family, truth, and love. What comes out of him is “real and life-affirming in a musical way,” says music producer and guitarist Austin Jenkins, who helped Bridges first record his music.

Listen to Bridges’ “Smooth Sailin’.”

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