Occasionally we like to inform our clients about what is going on at Walkner Condon, as we have some exciting updates to share with you. Nate and Clint have recorded a podcast on these items, but we also wanted to offer it in written form as well.
We bid goodbye to Most Mico last week. She was a great fit in an administrative role for us during her tenure. She gave us plenty of notice so that we could locate and train her eventual replacement in order to maintain client service levels. Mary Jo Stanizewski has joined us with 25 years of experience in financial services in a Client Service Specialist role. Mary Jo will mostly be supporting the international team, though she will be cross trained to help the domestic team when necessary as well. She also carries the benefits of being licensed, which will allow for her to perform higher level tasks such as trading.
Amber Schmechel is joining our team with 15 years of experience in communications and marketing. Most recently she was the Communications and Marketing Manager at Saris Cycling Group. Amber will be tasked with helping educate clients and tell our story to others that may not know us yet. It’s a busy job managing our online presence through our website, newsletters, blog posts, our podcasts, and YouTube videos. While you may not see her in front of the camera much, Amber will be crucial to generate content that is enjoyable and actionable.
Schwab / TD Ameritrade Merger
TD Ameritrade was acquired by Charles Schwab and the deal was completed in October 2020. As one can imagine, the merger of technology systems and integration is a multi-year endeavor. All clients on the TD Ameritrade platform will be transitioned over to Schwab on Labor Day weekend of this year. We expect very limited disruption for our clients. We are very familiar with the Schwab platform, as about half of our assets are already there. Clients that presently custody at TD Ameritrade will need to create a new login at Schwab after Labor Day. We encourage them also to download their mobile app. Schwab has very strong technology, and in our opinion is better from a back office perspective than TD Ameritrade. While our support staff is already familiar with Schwab, some of our domestic advisors are not, so between now and Labor Day we will be deepening our knowledge and becoming proficient in the software systems they provide.
We are committed to providing technology solutions that strike a balance between ease of use while providing a robust set of data both in a traditional web environment as well as a mobile one. Last year we moved to a new client portal, powered by the software company Advyzon, to very positive reviews. We encourage our clients to utilize this platform and reach out to us if you have any questions around data or reporting. There is a fair amount of personalization we can give you in the data presentation, so don’t hesitate to give us your feedback!
This year we have also deepened our software tools in relation to a few more specific financial planning challenges, including:
- Tax scenarios and charitable giving
- Stock options and executive compensation
- Business succession and exit planning
- Data aggregation for international assets
If you fall into one of these categories and want more information on these tools, please reach out to your advisor or a member of the support team.
Our Future Location Plans
We opened Walkner Condon the last few days of December in 2011 on Monroe Street in Madison, WI. Although we have changed locations on Monroe Street, we love the vibrant atmosphere of the surrounding neighborhood and the beauty of the arboretum across the street. With the growth of our staff and future anticipated needs, it is inevitable that we will be looking for more office space. Rest assured – we are not planning on moving from Monroe Street for our in-person meetings for our local clients! We have three more years on our present lease with another five year option, so we have plenty of time. It would be very difficult to give up great coffee and chocolate smells at Madison Chocolate Company next door.
One thing we didn’t plan for when we moved to this location was the addition of our international team that (almost) exclusively meets with clients virtually. For those that may not have seen our office, we have a few meeting rooms that are suited for in-person meetings and our staff is grouped in a few open concept areas. While this is excellent for collaboration, it can be a bit of a challenge for our advisors on web conferences. We anticipate that the international team will be moving at some point in 2023 to an office space that better suits their virtual client meetings.
Thanks for taking the time to read up on our updates!
The Walkner Condon Team