Top Notch Firm Keeps Costs Low

June 19, 2015

[This article originally appeared in our June issue of ETF Report.]

In 2014, Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough won the prestigious Charles Schwab Impact Best-in-Business Impact Award, a testament to the strength of the RIA’s management style. 
Over its 30-year history, this San Francisco-based firm has stayed one step ahead of the markets and its competition by intelligently using every tool in its kit. It’s focused on recruiting top talent and promoting from within. It ceaselessly refines and improve how it relates to clients and how it builds relationships. And it’s also been an early adopter of new investment tools and technologies—including the ETF. 
Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough began using ETFs almost as soon as they were available, according to managing principal Kevin Dorwin. That early faith has been amply rewarded in consistent, low-cost returns for its clients. 
Recently, ETF Report sat down with Dorwin to learn more about how Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough uses ETFs in its practice. 
What sets Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough apart from its competitors?
We’re consistently viewed as one of the best firms in the country for providing comprehensive advice to individuals. That starts with building low-cost, intelligent and diversified port-folios, combined with a very good understanding of the client’s complete financial situation. We’ve been doing it for a very long time, and have managed our business very well. 
Last year, Charles Schwab selected you as the best-managed firm in the country. Why? 
It wanted a firm with a consistent track record of strong business management. For example, we’ve managed a transition from the original founders to a new generation of owners and advisors, which very few firms have been able to do successfully. We’ve implemented a lot of new technologies successfully. We’ve been innovative in how we’ve developed new client relationships and in how we’ve marketed our firm. And of course, we’ve provided very consistent, good investment results for our clients, leading to strong retention rates, even amongst our peers. 
Tell me a little about your typical client. 
About 85% are individual clients, typically high net worth individuals in the range of $5 million to $100 million in AUM. We manage all their assets for the most part, and provide them with complete financial advice. 
The other 15% are endowments, nonprofits and other institutions, for whom we primarily do investment management. Those are folks who really want that diversified, low-cost approach, which we provide with ETFs and mutual funds. 


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