April 23, 2012

TD Ameritrade Taps Morgan Stanley Exec for Training Post

Former Merrill Lynch advisor Christine Gaze will be a director of practice management for affiliated RIAs

TD Ameritrade Institutional (AMTD) named former Morgan Stanley (MS) executive and Merrill Lynch (BAC) financial advisor Christine Gaze (left) as its new director of practice management on Monday.

Gaze, a 16-year industry veteran, will be in charge of developing and executing the strategic direction of practice management and business-consulting services to help TDAI's more than 4,000 affiliated independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) run and grow their businesses.

“Throughout my career, I’ve developed a track record of connecting deeply with advisors and understanding what they are struggling with, as well as adding insight and coaching to help them take their businesses to the next level,” Gaze said in an interview with AdvisorOne.

 “TDAI is already doing a good job at just that and found that RIAs working with consultants had a 17% growth rate last year vs. 9% without a consultant,” she said.

Most recently, Gaze was an executive director at Morgan Stanley Private Bank, where she led new business-development initiatives that helped advisors focus on cultivating relationships with high-net-worth investors.

Before that post, Gaze helped build the practice-management consulting group for Wachovia Securities. She also has held a variety of sales and leadership roles at firms such as Merrill Lynch, Prudential and AllianceBernstein.

"Christine started her career as an advisor providing financial planning for wealthy families. She’s spent the last decade researching best practices of top advisory teams, sharing insights and coaching financial advisors …," said Zohar Swaine, managing director of product and strategy for TD Ameritrade Institutional, in a statement.

According to Gaze, TDAI has a “deep bench of consultants that work with RIAs,” an effort that focuses on strategic relationships and is led by George Tamer.

“I’ll be in charge of the thought leadership, white papers, online information and insights, and other tools,” said Gaze. “George and I will be joined at the hip in this symbiotic effort.”

The former advisor says it’s a natural step for her and for TDAI to use her wirehouse experience in the RIA space.

“Growing up in the wirehouses formed the foundation of how I see the business as client-focused financial planning and wealth management,” she explained. “Throughout my career, I’ve had variety of roles and opportunities to study top advisors and best practices in the industry, which I now bring to TDAI.”

 

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