Nomination Process

We are no longer accepting nominations for this year's IMPACT Awards. Winners will be announced at IMPACT 2014, November 4–7 in Denver, CO.

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Schwab and our industry panel will review and evaluate the information you provide and make final selections.

Nominations for each of the four awards require general business metrics from your firm.

The Best-in-Business IMPACT Award™, Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award™, as well as the Trailblazer IMPACT Award™ require business metrics for the prior 5 years. Because firms nominated for the Pacesetter IMPACT Award™ have been in business less than 10 years, only business metrics for the prior 3 years are required.

May 8–June 20

Nominations will be accepted for the Best-in-Business IMPACT Award™, Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award™, Pacesetter IMPACT Award™, and Trailblazer IMPACT Award™.

July–September

Review of candidates and judging.

September

Winners will be notified.

November 4–7

Winners will be announced at IMPACT 2014 in Denver, CO.

Firms must meet the program's eligibility requirements to participate.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Use Charles Schwab, Charles Schwab Advisor Services or Charles Schwab Bank as a custodian for client assets.
  • Have been in business as a firm for at least 10 years (Best-in-Business IMPACT Award™), at least 5 years (Trailblazer IMPACT Award™), and fewer than 10 years (Pacesetter IMPACT Award™). Have been in business as an independent investment advisor, a recordkeeper and third party administrator, or an investment advisor and recordkeeper/third party administrator for at least 5 years (Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award™).
  • Have at least $25 million in assets under management. For the Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award™, a minimum of $250 million in assets under management and 25 or more retirement plans.
  • For the Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award, have more than 40% of their AUM in employee benefit plans such as 401(k), defined benefit or nonqualified plans.
  • Registered as a firm with the Securities and Exchange Commission or applicable state securities regulators or, for the Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award™, have a Level 2 SSAE 16 report on file.

Schwab reserves the right to disqualify a firm for any reason, including adverse disciplinary history or bankruptcies.

IMPACT AWARDS®
BEST-IN-BUSINESS IMPACT Award™/ Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award™ / PACESETTER IMPACT Award™ / TRAILBLAZER IMPACT Award™ ACCEPTANCE AGREEMENT

PLEASE READ THIS AGREEMENT CAREFULLY. By checking the box associated with your firm's submission form, you, on behalf of the firm named in the submission form ("you" or "your firm") agree to and acknowledge your firm's consent to be bound by the terms and conditions of this IMPACT® Program Acceptance Agreement ("Agreement"). Your firm may not participate in the IMPACT Awards Program or proceed with submission without accepting this Agreement.

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., ("Schwab") established the IMPACT Awards to honor firms that have advanced the independent investment advisor or independent retirement plan provider industry through their operational excellence, technology innovation, accelerated growth and industry advocacy (the "IMPACT Awards Program").

The Best-in-Business IMPACT Award will be presented to an independent investment advisory firm for excellence in business management and client services, including achievements in integrating technology as a core part of its business operations.

The Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award will be presented to a recordkeeper or retirement advisory investment firm that focuses on serving the retirement industry. The firm demonstrates leadership and extraordinary work in serving the retirement industry.

The Pacesetter IMPACT Award will be presented to an independent investment advisory firm that has realized accelerated growth through strategic management, innovative practices, and ongoing investments in business capabilities, including a successful track record of technology integration.

The Trailblazer IMPACT Award recognizes an independent investment advisory firm for unique efforts to advance the industry such as serving a new client segment, creating a new business model, education efforts in the community, developing new talent, or advocating for the industry.

In this Agreement, the above four awards are referred to individually and collectively as "Award".

Deadline for Submissions: Submissions must be received no later than June 20, 2014.

General Eligibility Criteria. It is important to Schwab and to the registered investment advisor, recordkeeper and retirement advisor communities that the recipient of the Award exemplifies the highest standards of the profession. You represent, warrant and agree that your firm meets, and will continue to meet, the following criteria as a condition of eligibility in the IMPACT Awards Program. Only firms are eligible to be candidates for the four Awards. Individuals are not eligible. A firm must have been in business for 10 years or more (Best-in-Business IMPACT Award), 5 years or more (Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award and Trailblazer IMPACT Award), and 10 years or less (Pacesetter IMPACT Award). Additionally, to be eligible as a candidate, a firm must (as of May 8, 2014, and, where applicable, thereafter):

  • Use Charles Schwab, Charles Schwab Advisor Services or Charles Schwab Bank as a custodian for client assets.
  • Have been in business as an independent investment advisory firm for at least 10 years (Best-in-Business IMPACT Award), at least 5 years (Trailblazer IMPACT Award), and less than 10 years (Pacesetter IMPACT Award). Have been in business as an independent investment advisor, a recordkeeper and third party administrator, or an investment advisor and recordkeeper/third party administrator for at least 5 years (Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award).
  • Have at least $25 million in assets under management. For the Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award, a minimum of $250MM in assets under management and 25 or more retirement plans.
  • Registered as an investment advisor firm with the Securities and Exchange Commission or applicable state securities regulators or, for the Best-in-Retirement Business IMPACT Award have a Level 2 SSAE 16 Report on file.
  • Has not been an IMPACT Awards winner within the past 5 years. Past winners of the Pacesetter IMPACT Award may not participate again in the Pacesetter IMPACT Award.

Schwab reserves the right to disqualify a firm for any reason, including adverse disciplinary history or bankruptcies.

Background Checks, Due Diligence, Disqualification. Before we consider you as a candidate for the Award, we will conduct appropriate background checks, including, but not limited to, public records searches to verify that the above criteria are met. In this regard, you grant us permission to conduct, or to retain a third party to conduct any credit, regulatory, criminal or other background check or investigation of your firm as we deem appropriate, and will provide us with such additional authorizations and information as we may reasonably request. Schwab is not obligated to provide you with the results of any such checks or investigations. You acknowledge that your firm's eligibility as a candidate in the IMPACT Awards Program is subject to any due diligence conducted by us and our approval of your candidacy. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to disqualify your firm from the IMPACT Awards Program for any reason, including but not limited to adverse disciplinary history and bankruptcy. In the event of disqualification, we have no obligation to notify you.

Timeliness and Accuracy of Submission Information. Please review your firm's submission information before submitting it. You represent and warrant to Schwab that the information you submit is current, accurate, and complete and is not false or misleading. You may correct any inaccuracies or supplement the reported information by contacting Schwab at by June 20, 2014. We may ask you to supplement the information in your firm's submission form with additional information. If you choose not to provide any such information, your firm may no longer be considered for the Award. You further represent and warrant that the disclosure of your submission information to Schwab and any additional information you provide for the IMPACT Awards Program, and Schwab's subsequent use of the information in connection with the IMPACT Awards Program do not violate any agreement between you, and your firm or between you or your firm and any third parties that may be referenced in or identifiable through the information provided.

Attendance at IMPACT® 2014 Conference. We ask all participating firms to verify the availability of one of their principals to attend an awards ceremony at IMPACT® 2014 in Denver, CO. on or about November 4-7, 2014, where the winners will be honored. If your firm is selected as an Award winner, a representative from your firm must attend the awards ceremony. If a principal of your firm is unable to attend, an alternate winner may be chosen in your firm's place. Schwab will provide the winning firm's single representative with transportation, hotel accommodations, and admission to IMPACT® 2014.

Publicity. We may publicize the Award, your firm and/or any principals of your firm as we deem appropriate, including recognition before, during and after IMPACT® 2014. If your firm is selected as an Award winner, you authorize Schwab to disclose and publicize information we learn about your firm through its participation in the IMPACT Awards Program. If your firm is selected as an Award winner, solely in relation to the Award, IMPACT Awards Program, and IMPACT® 2014, you agree that a principal from your firm will be available for reasonable amounts of time, and on reasonable occasions during the time prior to, during, and after IMPACT Awards for our publicity efforts including but not limited to the development of a press release, and a firm profile to promote the IMPACT Awards program. If your firm is selected as an Award winner, you grant Schwab, solely in relation to the Award, the IMPACT Awards Program, and IMPACT Awards, and without compensation to your firm or any of its principals, the right to (i) use names, biographical information and/or photographs and images of the principals of your firm; (ii) identify your firm as an Award winner; (iii) use information about your firm and its principals, including without limitation, statements and representations concerning you, and your firm's success; and (iv) identify you, and your firm, and its principals in advertising and promotional materials in any media. You understand this permission does not include the right for your firm or any of its principals to use the name of Schwab or any of its affiliates, the IMPACT Awards Program, or IMPACT Awards, in connection with the publicity or advertising of the Award winner or any of your firm's principals, except as may be expressly agreed by Schwab in writing and as set forth in any marketing or publicity guidelines that Schwab may provide. You agree to cooperate with Schwab's reasonable requests for a photo, biographical data, and other background information relating to you or other principals or your firm that we may request with respect to the IMPACT Awards Program.

Termination of Participation. You may withdraw your firm's status as a candidate for the Award up until June 20, 2014. To withdraw your firm's candidacy please contact and ask that your information be withdrawn from consideration.

Submissions, Usage. The information you submit in support of your firm's candidacy will become the property of Schwab. Submissions may include previously produced content that is owned by your firm; however information that is copyrighted by another source cannot be used. Schwab will hold the information submitted in support of a candidate and any investigations conducted in connection with the candidate's consideration in confidence, except that Schwab may disclose and use the information (i) in connection with the IMPACT Awards Program, (ii) to certain third parties, including screeners and judges, and (iii) to the public in connection with the Award. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Schwab may use submission information in aggregated form for benchmarking, and other purposes. Information, and other materials provided in support of a submission will not be returned.

Judging and Winner Selection Process. Entries will be reviewed to ensure that they meet all eligibility requirements and Schwab criteria. A panel of judges will review the remaining finalists for the Award and will select the winner for final approval by Schwab. In granting its final approval, Schwab will be guided by the criteria for the IMPACT Awards Program, and will also consider which candidates best exemplify the prestige and purpose of the Award and reflect Schwab's reputation in the marketplace for integrity, service and value. Schwab has absolute discretion in approving the winner, and Schwab's decisions in all matters related to the Award and the IMPACT Awards Program are final.

Award Winner Terms and Conditions. Each Award winner will be required to accept the IMPACT Awards Winner Terms & Conditions. The Award winner will receive one trophy or other commemorative item. Additional trophies, at a cost to the winning firm, may be arranged. In addition, Schwab will make a donation in the name of the winning firm to a recognized charity of the winner's choice (subject to Schwab's approval but giving due consideration to the Award winner's recommendation).

Termination of the Awards Program; Revocation of Awards. Schwab may, in its sole discretion, terminate the IMPACT Awards Program, or a specific award, at any time and for any reason, without notice. Additionally, Schwab may revoke any Award made in connection with the IMPACT Awards Program at any time for any reason.

No Use of Schwab's Name. This Agreement does not grant you any right to use Schwab's names, trademarks, or logos. Any use of the foregoing is subject to Schwab's prior written authorization, in its sole discretion. Trademarks include, without limitation, IMPACT Awards and references to the former Charles R. Schwab IMPACT Awards.

Limitation of Liability. CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., ITS PARENT AND THEIR RESPECTIVE AFFILIATES, ARE NEITHER RESPONSIBLE NOR LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, PUNITIVE, OR OTHER DAMAGES WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THOSE RESULTING FROM LOST PROFITS, LOST DATA, OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING IN ANY WAY TO THE IMPACT AWARDS PROGRAM OR THIS AGREEMENT, WHETHER BASED ON WARRANTY, CONTRACT, TORT, OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY AND WHETHER OR NOT ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

Copies of These Terms and Conditions. You may print a copy of this Agreement using the print button or feature in your browser. Please retain a copy for your reference.

General Terms. The interpretation and enforcement of this Agreement will be governed by the law of the State of California without reference to its choice of law rules. You agree all actions or proceedings arising in connection with this Agreement will be tried and litigated exclusively in the state or federal courts (if permitted by law and a party elects to file an action in federal court) located in San Francisco, California. This choice of venue is intended to be mandatory and not permissive in nature, and to preclude the possibility of litigation with respect to, or arising out of, this Agreement in any jurisdiction other than that specified in this provision. You hereby waive any right you may have to assert the doctrine of forum non conveniens or similar doctrine or theory or to object to venue with respect to any proceeding brought in accordance with this provision. Except as provided below, this Agreement and, if applicable, the IMPACT Awards Winner Terms & Conditions constitutes the entire agreement between you and Schwab pertaining to the subject matter of this Agreement.

Acceptance; Authority to Agree. By checking the box associated with the submission form, you agree to and acknowledge your consent to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement. You represent and warrant on behalf of your firm that you, and your firm have full power, capacity and authority to enter into and perform this Agreement, and to make the grant of rights herein, and you affirm your acceptance of this Agreement. You further represent that this Agreement has been reviewed by all necessary authorities of your firm, and that such authorities have reviewed all information submitted in connection with the nomination, which has been verified for accuracy and does not violate any of your firm's confidentiality agreements or Code of Ethics, nor any partnership, employment or other agreements in place at your firm.

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