BOSTON — Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions, the division of Fidelity Investments that provides clearing and custody to registered investment advisors (RIAs), retirement recordkeepers, broker-dealer firms, banks and insurance companies, today announced the winners of the second annual Be Greater Awards. The awards recognize RIAs that are taking their firms to the next level, evolving them into successful, growing businesses. The winners of the 2016 Be Greater Awards are:
- Investment Advisory Services, Inc. (The Woodlands, TX)
- Probity Advisors, Inc. (Dallas, TX)
- Adviser Investments (Newton, MA)
"Today's dynamic environment requires firms to focus relentlessly on growth and efficiency to remain competitive," said Bob Oros, executive vice president and head of the RIA segment, Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions. "This year's Be Greater winners demonstrated their commitment to excellence across critical areas of their businesses that will help them become future-ready and achieve long-term success."
Winners were chosen by an esteemed panel of industry professionals: Karen Barr, Investment Adviser Association; Joel Bruckenstein, Technology Tools for Today; Mindy Diamond, Diamond Consultants; Beverly Flaxington, The Collaborative; Brian Hamburger, MarketCounsel; and Philip Palaveev, The Ensemble Practice.
"We were impressed by all of the firms' submissions and their dedication to building lasting businesses, both for their employees and clients," said Joel Bruckenstein. "The winners stood out for their efforts to create personalized experiences for clients and improve client engagement by investing in technology, attracting and retaining talented associates, and creating a focused strategic plan."
Fidelity will make a donation to the charity of each winner's choice in the amount of $15,000. For more information on the Be Greater Awards, including the inspiring stories of how the winners have built great businesses, visit go.fidelity.com/begreaterawards.
About the Fidelity Be Greater® Awards
- The annual award honors three registered investment advisors, one from each of the following categories: $50 — $250 million, $250 million — $1 billion and greater than $1 billion in total assets under management.
- Entrants were evaluated by an independent panel of industry professionals for excellence across five key business areas, which Fidelity refers to as its Five Fundamentals of a Future-Ready Firm: Strategy, Talent, Technology & Operations, Risk & Regulatory and Client Focus.
- Eligible firms must be an RIA client of Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions, be in business for at least four years, have more than two full time employees, have at least $50 million in total assets under management and must not be under investigation by any regulatory or government agency or enforcement division.
- Winners were announced on October 18, 2016 at Fidelity's Inside Track event in New York. Fidelity will make a donation to the charity of each winner's choice in the amount of $15,000.
Investment Advisory Services, Inc.
Category: $50 – $250 million in total assets under management
- Investment Advisory Services stood out for their focus on strategy and leveraging technology in order to become more future-ready. Located in The Woodlands, Texas, this six‐person firm combines goals-based planning with portfolio design. They also provide support for broader life issues such as estate planning and risk management, working in conjunction with strategic partners. Investment Advisory Services utilizes technology to enhance the client experience, while also improving efficiency and reducing costs. Their central open-architecture platform integrates several workflows including account aggregation, a client portal, financial planning capabilities, CRM and document management software to "go paperless."
- Investment Advisory Services is using its small, tight‐knit team as a competitive advantage to quickly adopt new technologies as well as develop a personalized client experience. "Our business is about relationships," says John Haynes, managing director and chief investment officer. "And, our staff enjoys being part of something that provides a benefit to others. We continually look for feedback from clients to understand what they value most when working with our team, and then provide an experience we hope will motivate them to tell others about how we can help."
Probity Advisors, Inc.
Category: $250 million – $1 billion in total assets under management
- Probity Advisors, located in Dallas, Texas, was recognized in part for their client-centric approach to becoming future-ready. Recognizing that every client is unique, they offer clients a variety of ways to stay connected. The team leverages technology for virtual meetings and online account set-up, and an upgraded CRM system allows them to personalize each client’s experience. The firm also keeps clients informed with daily trade alerts, a weekly wrap‐up of market developments via email, and a yearly comprehensive wealth management guide that addresses everything from tax laws, gifting and wealth transfer strategies, retirement planning tools, and more.
- Probity Advisors provides comprehensive wealth management solutions. "Many clients use a number of professionals to juggle their financial lives," says Porter (Buddy) Ozanne, founder and president. "Our firm brings together portfolio management, financial and estate planning, risk management and accounting under one organization to deliver comprehensive solutions that simplify our clients' financial lives."
Category: Greater than $1 billion in total assets under management
- Adviser Investments was honored for their investment in technology and talent to get future-ready, devoting time and resources to ensure their people and their technology are "second-to-none." The firm has long been an industry leader in leveraging its CRM system to provide an excellent client experience and to help fuel asset growth. Employee development is also a primary focus, and the company supports professional growth with continuing-education and outside training, as well as a mentoring program that empowers promising young employees.
- Adviser Investments co-founder and Chairman, Daniel Wiener, started tracking and providing advice on investing wisely in Vanguard mutual funds in a newsletter he founded in 1991. He launched Adviser Investments in 1994 in Newton, Massachusetts.
- "Given our roots, we think of ourselves as a communications company in addition to being a wealth manager," says Dan Silver, president and one of the co-founders of the firm. "As such, we have created a high-touch service model to keep our clients informed about the economy, markets, and their individual portfolios."
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity's goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $5.6 trillion, including managed assets of $2.1 trillion as of September 30, 2016, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 25 million people invest their own life savings, nearly 20,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing nearly 10,000 advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients' money. Privately held for 70 years, Fidelity employs 45,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about.