Too much wine and too many late nights, typical of tradeshow attendees, gave way to helping hands at TD Ameritrade’s annual conference in San Diego from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2.
On the afternoon of the second day of the conference, a “couple of hundred” attendee volunteers participated in activities to help one of three charities supported by the clearing and custodial firm: The Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and The Foundation for Financial Planning. Events included building fences, putting “comfort kits” together to send to military personnel overseas and a 5K fun run. After completion of the day’s tasks, TD Ameritrade donated $5,000 to each organization.
“We engage with each of the three charities on a national level, and each has a strong presence in San Diego, so we wanted the advisors to be able to see the results at the local level,” said Kate Healy, the company’s managing director of institutional marketing. “We had advisors, sponsors and interns participate, so it was really great.”
Healy noted next-gen advisors, in particular, have a strong sense of volunteerism, as it is required in many schools today.
“We had registration filled for these events before the conference even started,” she added.
Results of the efforts included 120 fences that were built, 156 runners for the 5K and 5,000 comfort kits put together for the troops.
“We had military personnel on site, and they were very appreciative,” Healy said. “The kits included shampoo, soap, deodorant, shaving cream, razors—all the things they need but might not always get.”
She said some advisors made it a competition to see who could construct the most kits, with some attending to four at a time.
The Foundation for Financial Planning concentrates on providing pro bono financial advice for families in need. Not only do they provide the advice, but they also provide advisors with training in pro bono work.
“They need the training and welcome the training,” Healy said. “They have quite a few advisors that are helping out with advice in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, for instance.
“So many of the advisors want to give back, and either can’t find the time, or don’t know how to begin,” she concluded. “It makes it much easier when we can bring it to them. It’s embedded in our corporate culture and will continue to ramp up each year with events like these.”