Client-first approach to financial services

Clients First: It’s Our Mission at Scottrade

By Peter deSilva

President, Scottrade

Let me say from the start that I can’t take credit for Scottrade ranking highest in overall satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study. I’ve only been here for 4 months.

But I couldn’t be more grateful to our clients and to our associates who offer up consistently superior support, services and products. And for me, personally, the investor satisfaction ranking validates everything I’ve witnessed over the last 4 months.

I would like to briefly tell you our story based on my journey here after nearly 3 decades in the financial services business.

I was drawn to Scottrade’s reputation for providing a client-first approach to financial services. Client-first requires you to listen closely, all the time. Sounds easy, but it’s not. If you’re paying attention to clients, you have to constantly tinker and evolve, and there’s no such thing as resting on your laurels.

It also means that all Scottrade associates, starting with me, have to come to work and be ready to do things a bit differently today than we did yesterday. We can’t take our clients and their financial services experience for granted. We need to listen and change to keep providing clients what they want and need.

What I’ve discovered is that Scottrade has a lot to offer. Our clients can invest, trade and bank. All right here.

We got there with a client-centered approach that starts with building relationships. Our investment consultants are dedicated to understanding clients, recognizing their needs and guiding them to their financial goals. Some specialize in providing retirement services. Our Active Trader Group is committed to helping traders meet their goals. We also understand that a single client could benefit from all of our services at the same time. There is no one-size-fits-all (or many) approach.

Of course, those services are on top of the continuous improvements we’ve made over the years that have translated into consistently strong client satisfaction. The short list would include access to education and research that gets more sophisticated by the day. I’ll also line up our portfolio management tools, screeners and trading services with anyone’s.

But, most of all, we have passionate associates who don’t waver on their commitment to providing effective solutions to each client – from simple to complex.

Long before I started here, Scottrade adopted a mission statement that I think every associate knows by heart: “Improve lives by helping people overcome barriers to financial success.” In fact, many of us can’t miss those words. They’re embossed in the lobby of our St. Louis headquarters, and they were looming in front of me the first time I came in to interview for the job I’m holding today.

But I had to do my due diligence. I wanted an answer to an important question: Do our clients trust us?

I kicked the tires a bit to see if this Scottrade outfit was really intent on upholding the values of that mission statement. What I found was a firm-wide understanding of and dedication to that mission, from founder Rodger Riney on down to the many associates I talked to throughout the headquarters and in our branches.

All of us at Scottrade are fortunate that our clients have once again shown that they agree. We’ll work hard to keep their trust – your trust – in the years to come. And I want to thank you for your continued support of our efforts.

Scottrade received the highest numerical score in the J. D. Power 2016 Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study, based on 4,242 responses measuring 13 firms and the experiences and perceptions of investors who use self-directed investment firms, surveyed in January 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit

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