When it comes to the top custody and clearing firm leaders, one firm dominates the IA 25 list: TD Ameritrade Institutional President Tom Nally narrowly topped the level of votes garnered by his boss, TD Ameritrade President & CEO Tim Hockey, and his colleague, TD Ameritrade Trust President Skip Schweiss.
The firm works with more than 6,000 RIAs, and an innovative approach to the business via technology and other tools is paramount to the firm — as exemplified by the growing presence of Veo Village at its annual LINC conferences.
“We know the financial services industry can be complex by nature. But the way we talk about it doesn’t have to be,” Nally said.
“These days, you can imagine the future and then, before you know it, what once seemed impossible has become reality,” he explained. “We want to give independent RIAs the tools and capabilities they need to navigate a rapidly changing world, so that they may continue being drivers of disruptive change for the better.”
The firm has rolled out a series of analytical tools and dashboards for advisors through its CRM platform, Veo One, which includes an FA Insight benchmarking resource. “We’ve got big plans for big data,” Nally said at 2017 LINC.
Hockey, an early riser and bicyclist aficionado who includes Dalai Lama sayings on his Twitter feed, plays the role of visionary, deal maker and cheerleader for TD’s business, which have more than $1 trillion in assets. He sees technology as the way for the firm to grow and service its wide array of customers.
Because TD Ameritrade used to be an industry disrupter but now is an incumbent, “How can we innovate faster than the new firms?” he asked at 2018 LINC. His answer? “[Let’s] not, … be afraid to rest on our laurels. We must do more partnerships. One, two or three years from now, we should see blockchain vendors in the Veo Village.”