Schwab keeps and enhances TD Ameritrade’s student scholarship program

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Schwab is bringing over TD Ameritrade’s student scholarship program — and upping the money reserved for diverse candidates, according to a company executive.

“We're starting to collaborate very closely with our TD colleagues,” Lisa Salvi, vice president of business consulting and education at Schwab Advisor Services, said in an interview with Financial Planning. Schwab is determining what programs it will bring over to strengthen its pre-existing initiatives, she says.

Schwab’s decision to retain TD Ameritrade’s student scholarship program gives RIAs a first glimpse at how Schwab will handle its former competitor’s next generation programs. It’s also another indication of how Schwab is proceeding with the integration of its ex-rival; recent decisions have focused on whether to keep certain technologies and layoffs of some former TD staff and executives.

Schwab’s RIA Talent Advantage Scholarship Program, like TD Ameritrade’s program, will award 12 students $5,000. Schwab is also upping the number of scholarships set aside for women and people of color to six from TD’s four — a decision reached in collaboration with TD employees, according to Salvi.


In addition, Schwab pledged to cover the travel costs for 80 students to attend its conference each year, echoing similar commitments TD Ameritrade had made to students attending its conference.

“We've covered the registration fees for students for years and years, but want to remove that travel barrier as well, so that we get people applying whether or not they think they can afford to get on a flight and stay in a hotel for three nights,” Schwab’s Salvi says.

Schwab will give $1 million to financial planning students over the next five years to fund these two initiatives, Salvi said.

The company’s decision to adopt TD’s scholarship program comes after it recently parted ways with several TD Ameritrade executives. Kate Healy, who oversaw TD Ameritrade’s next generation and DEI initiatives was among those departing executives, according to a report by wealthmanagement.com. Salvi declined to comment.

“We want to remove that travel barrier as well, so that we get people applying whether or not they think they can afford to get on a flight and stay in a hotel for three nights,” Lisa Salvi, vice president of business consulting and education at Schwab Advisor Services, says of the firm’s decision to start covering the travel expenses for students to the company’s annual conference.

Schwab will continue to build out its equity and inclusion offerings for RIAs.

“We've had more and more firms reaching out to us for help with their own diversity and inclusion strategy — more this year than ever,” she says, adding that she has been working one-on-one with some of those firms to develop a DEI strategy. “That's an area where I think we will continue to see a lot of progress in the coming year.”

Schwab hosted more than 120 students from 25 different universities at its recent Impact Conference, which included virtual mentoring sessions and a career fair, according to the company.

Schwab Advisor Services, in partnership with the Charles Schwab Foundation, has given more than $10 million in grants to support the development of next generation talent in the RIA industry. That number includes grants to the CFP Board.

Schwab is currently recruiting for its 2021 internship program, according to Salvi. The company selects around 14 students each year.

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Clearinghouses/custodians Diversity and equality RIAs Charles Schwab
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