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Industry Spotlight > Broker Dealers

The 2020 IA25: Tom Bradley

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Tom Bradley recently became senior vice president of Advisor Services for Charles Schwab, which is planning to buy rival TD Ameritrade. Bradley led both TD Ameritrade Institutional and TD Ameritrade’s retail distribution as part of his 31-year career at TD and its predecessor firms.

Top Advice

My top piece of advice for advisors is something they know well, and that is this … it is easy to get clients to stay the course in good times; doing so in difficult times is hard, but that is what advisors get paid to do.

Your clients are watching you, and it is critical you remain relaxed and confident about the future and the plan you set in motion for each of your clients.

If they stay the course, they will be fine in the long run, and it’s important to reassure them of that and to constantly communicate with them.

Biggest challenges

Change management is often one of the most difficult things for leaders to execute against, and we’ve seen a massive amount of change in our industry in an incredibly short period of time.

At Schwab alone, almost overnight, we went from having very few people working from home to nearly 20,000 of us doing so.

The financial services industry probably has hundreds of thousands of people working from home now. It wasn’t easy for any of us, but we did it.

History has taught us that difficult times can also bring opportunities to learn and discover new ways to serve clients when these days are behind us.

For me personally, I’m naturally someone who prefers to be in person and spend time with frontline associates, which is even more important in the midst of a crisis.

So I’m learning new ways to connect digitally, and while we can’t interact in the same ways we did even a few weeks ago, our teams are bonding over this shared experience and thinking about how we best serve going forward — and that’s exciting.


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