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Schwab CEO, Wealth Managers Condemn Capitol Riot

“Violence, takeovers or intimidation are never the answer to challenges or issues facing us as individuals or as a nation.”

Wednesday’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by rioters supporting President Donald Trump spurred top wealth management leaders and investors to condemn the violence.

“My heart is heavy after witnessing the events at the Capitol yesterday,” wrote Charles Schwab President and CEO Walt Bettinger on LinkedIn.

“Violence, takeovers or intimidation are never the answer to challenges or issues facing us as individuals or as a nation. As a law abiding citizen, I believe what happened yesterday must never happen again – in Washington, D.C. or anywhere in our country. My hope and prayer is that our nation’s leaders take steps to bring our fractured country together. I remain optimistic that our country’s best days still lie ahead.”

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Shortly after the president exhorted a group of followers to march to the Capitol to protest what he claimed was a stolen election, and shortly before lawmakers were set to certify results for the 2020 presidential election, rioters battled police, smashed windows, and swarmed the hallowed building, which was last breached in 1814 when British troops torched it.

“True vision of a founding patriot” wrote Mark Casady, general partner and chairman of Vestigo Ventures’ advisory board, on LinkedIn next to an image of John Adams and the following words written by the future president in a 1780 letter: “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties…This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

In response, a commenter asked if any political leaders or visionaries of Adams’ caliber were willing to lead today. Casady replied, “I had hoped that a great leader would emerge more to the center of politics but now realize it is us-the people who have created this mess. Until we are willing to be focused on doing what is right for everyone and not just ourselves and our interest groups, we cannot get out of this loop.”

Alex Chalekian, the founder and chief executive of Lake Avenue Financial, a Pasadena, CA-based RIA, took to Twitter. "I feel like I'm watching my security cameras while my house is being robbed." He also tweeted: "In my 44 years as a US citizen, I've never felt like I lived in a 3rd world country... but here we are. This is all so disheartening."

In 2019, Chalekian was first to criticize Ken Fisher for his crude and sexually charged remarks at a popular wealth management conference, sparking a fierce backlash against the billionaire money manager.

Industry leaders in finance have been vocal, too. “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence at our Capitol today,” said BlackRock Chairman and CEO, Larry Fink, in a statement Wednesday to Institutional Investor

David McCormick, Bridgewater Associates CEO and former Treasury undersecretary under President George W. Bush, told II: “I am watching the violence in the nation’s capital with disgust and heartbreak. Today’s storming of the Capitol is seditious and an attack on our most dearly held national principles. Ever since George Washington stepped aside in 1797, the peaceful transfer of power has been the hallmark of our republic and a symbol of our freedom under the law. Today’s events demonstrate just how vulnerable that hallowed tradition is.” 

Greg Bartalos (@gregorianchance) is editor of New York City-based RIA Intel.

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