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February 3, 2006
Optimism Flows at TD Ameritrade
Tom Bradley riding high at Florida gathering
More than 1,000 advisors gathered in central Florida on February 2 for the first TD Ameritrade Institutional Partnership conference, listening to plainspoken Ameritrade chief Joe Moglia tell of his goal that "whatever we do, we're going to be the market leader," TDA President Tom Bradley describe the "incredible marketing opportunity" presented to RIAs by the SEC's Merrill Lynch Rule, and Rudy Giuliani and George H.W. Bush address the great issues of the day for the country and the world. Following by scant weeks the formal closing of the Ameritrade-TD Waterhouse merger, the conference was the first public chance for Bradley to lay out his vision for the new entity and for advisors to take the measure of Moglia, a former institutional bond salesman and later executive with Merrill Lynch, who bluntly said "we've got to get into the retirement business; our platform has to allow us to do that." TDA's Derek Bruton pointed out that this was the largest ever Partnership conference, with a total of 1,600 attendees including 1,100 advisors and 250 first-timers. Giuliani was the opening keynote speaker, laying out his principles of leadership, while former President Bush won over the audience on the 3rd with his self-deprecating wit during his prepared remarks and his willingness to take multiple questions from audience members addressing everything from nuclear arms on the Korean peninsula to the Venezuelan president to the chances that his son Jeb might run for president some day.