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TDAI Awards Next Gen Scholarships to Recruit Young Advisors

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In an effort to recruit more recent college grads to the advisor industry, TD Ameritrade Institutional on Friday announced that it has awarded scholarships to 10 talented students enrolled in undergraduate financial planning programs around the U.S.

These are the first scholarships that TDAI has awarded since it established an annual Next Generation Scholarship Program earlier this year. The 2013 recipients have all received $5,000 scholarship awards. Winners applied by May 15, and the scholarships were awarded on Aug. 1.

TDAI also plans to award a $50,000 grant to a university that best demonstrates a commitment to educating the industry’s future financial professionals. Applications were accepted on April 15 through June 1, and the grant winner will be awarded to the selected university on Sept. 1.

Six TDAI scholarship winners flanking TD's Tom Nally, center left, and Fred Tomczyk, center right.“This is an industry that is facing a critical talent shortage at a time when the need for financial advice is on the rise,” said TD Ameritrade Institutional President Tom Nally in a statement. “By supporting students like these, we look to help cultivate the next generation of financial professionals.”

Over the next decade, TDAI plans to provide $1 million to expand the number of college students pursuing a career in the financial services industry. The Omaha-based brokerage and custodian joins a number of other firms and groups that are actively seeking to replace retiring advisors in the aging advisor industry with a fresh group of new recruits.

“I am always seeking top talent for our firm, but I’m also looking forward and considering who will be caring for them over the next 20 or 30 years,” said David Kudla, chief executive and chief investment strategist of Mainstay Capital Management and a member of TDAI’s Next Generation Advisory Board, in a statement. “I see a real need for our industry to step up efforts to support and engage a new generation.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent Occupational Outlook Handbook signals the strong demand for new advisors, saying that the job outlook for personal financial advisors saw a “much faster than average” growth rate of 32% between 2010 and 2012. This growth trend runs alongside the trend, as identified by Accenture, of 50-something boomer advisors approaching retirement and faced with the issue of succession planning.

Yet the TDAI scholarship announcement notes that financial planning is not a popular career choice among students, according to a recent survey by the National Society of High School Scholars. As a result, the firm hopes that its scholarship program will show more college students that a career in financial planning can be a satisfying one both on a monetary and a personal level.

To celebrate their achievement, scholarship winners traveled to New York City as guests of TD Ameritrade for a visit to Wall Street (see image), where they took tours of the Museum of American Finance and the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

“Financial advisors have the potential to make a huge difference in a client’s life by providing them with confidence about their finances,” said Kelsey Brooks, a TDAI scholarship winner now entering her senior year at the University of Georgia, in a statement. “I want to be that person in my client’s life, someone they can rely on for straightforward advice.”

In addition to Brooks, TDAI’s scholarship winners are:

  • Christopher Johnson, Texas Christian University
  • Kayla-Lynn Kasica, William Paterson University
  • Joshua Landau, University of San Diego
  • Morgan McGovern, Virginia Tech University
  • Kelly McNerney, William Paterson University
  • Andrew Milling, William Paterson University
  • Phillip Murphy, SUNY College of Technology at Alfred
  • Eric Siss, Virginia Tech University
  • Delroy Stauffer, University of South Carolina-Columbia

Read Next-Gen Advisors Get Schooled in Social Media That Sells at ThinkAdvisor.


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