Dani Fava on stage at a 2019 event for RIAs (Photo credit: Wealth/Stack)

Dani Fava, who had led innovation for TD Ameritrade Institutional since 2016, has left the company ahead of its merger with longtime rival Charles Schwab.

Fava was introduced as a former TDAI leader early Monday at an online event hosted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. TD Ameritrade confirmed her status afterward but declined to comment further. 

The popular speaker joined the firm in 2012 after working for FiServ and Citi. She has not updated her LinkedIn profile since the news broke but has told ThinkAdvisor that she would share details on her latest career move soon.

In 2019, Investment Advisor named Fava one of the Top Women in WealthTech. At TD Ameritrade, she led the launch of the portfolio rebalancing technology iRebal and the Model Market Center, which brings outsourced investment management to RIAs.

“I absolutely love what I do: I’m passionate about technology and its ability to disrupt the status quo, and I believe deeply in the longevity of the independent advisor model,” she told ThinkAdvisor last year in an interview.

(Fava officially left TD Ameritrade on July 15; her new role at Envestnet was announced on July 22.)

Recent Remarks on Tech, Trends

On Monday during a webcast, Fava reinforced her view that advisors need to become familiar with podcasts, video conferencing, cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, crowdfunding and income-sharing agreements.

These trends “will continue to dramatically change your businesses, your customers and their interactions,” she said.

The “involuntary tech revolution” happening today is the result of people everywhere being “forced to adopt technologies in ways that they did not even want to adopt [or] expect that they were going to adopt, but out of forced necessity had to adopt” as a result of the pandemic, according to Fava. 

“And once the mind expands, it can never go back,” she added, predicting that “these adopted technologies are going to change customer interactions like never before.”

At the same time, decentralization is occurring across the financial services industry and is “showing up everywhere,” Fava said, as a result of general “mistrust [in] and the movement away from” large, centralized institutions. 

This situation also is behind clients’ increasing interest in cryptocurrencies, she explained, along with other factors. 

Crowd lending and income-sharing agreements are also part of this decentralization trend, Fava said. The pandemic and involuntary tech revolution have “pushed all of these trends and accelerated them forward,” she noted.