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    Charles Schwab

Walt Bettinger’s timing is either terrible or stupendous. Having taken over as CEO of Charles Schwab in late 2008, he guided the brokerage through the financial crisis by trimming Schwab’s costs and keeping clients focused on the long term. Today Schwab boasts the least expensive mutual funds in the industry and a strong relationship with independent advisers (who keep their clients’ money with Schwab). The combo is apparently working: As of September, customers have opened more than 100,000 new Schwab brokerage accounts a month for a record 10 straight months. And profits are up 28% over the trailing 12 months.—Adam Lashinsky