In his first presentation at TD Ameritrade’s National LINC conference as CEO, Tim Hockey laid out his guiding principles to grow the firm’s brokerage and custodial business which serves more than 4,000 fee-based RIAs.
Hockey became CEO immediately after Fred Tomczyk retired on Sept. 30, after having spent nine months as the firm’s president and before that more than 30 years in various positions at the Canadian-based TD (Toronto-Dominion) Bank, which now owns approximately 40% of TD Ameritrade.
After noting the “sheer disruption going on in the wealth management” industry, Hockey asked his audience whether they, as stewards of their firms, let their people know where they stand and how they communicate through words and action. Then he shared his Top 6 Leadership Principles, which have guided his career.
#6. Focus on your people.
“They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said Hockey. He recalled one of the best pieces of advice he ever got in business, which came from Tomczyk: Stop reading financial books. Read biographies, books about people who have lived great lives. “It’s all about the people.”
#5. Do those things that only you are uniquely capable of doing and delegate the rest. “Empower people in your firm,” said Hockey, noting that they are the people closest to clients. Doing so allows the firm to “move faster, be more innovative for all and more client centric.”
#4. Focus on your firm’s culture, not strategies that are “a dime a dozen.”
Culture “is the most important thing” that a CEO can create in an organization, said Hockey. “Culture eats strategy for lunch,” he said, quoting business management guru Peter Drucker.
“Leaders should serve associates and associates should serve clients and [then] shareholders are rewarded … I will help craft that culture and be very purposeful about that.”
#3. Encourage speaking truth to power.
“Leaders rarely have the best ideas,” said Hockey, who recommended that leaders speak last and ask questions in order to encourage others to take the lead and create opportunities for them.