With TD Ameritrade about to acquire Scottrade, Tom Bradley is out

Company felt it needed a top manager from Scottrade in merged company

Sep 8, 2017 @ 1:50 pm

By Bruce Kelly

Tom Bradley
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Tom Bradley

With TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.'s acquisition of Scottrade Financial Services Inc. almost done, there was no room left in senior management for Tom Bradley, TD's current head of retail but an executive widely recognized as one of the main leaders and advocates for years of the registered investment adviser industry.

TD Ameritrade on Thursday said that Peter deSilva was joining its senior executive team as president of retail distribution.

TD Ameritrade and its largest stakeholder, Toronto-Dominion Bank, said last October that it had agreed to buy Scottrade Financial Services for $4 billion, combining two of the largest online brokerages while expanding the U.S. operations of Canada's second-largest lender. TD Ameritrade expects the merger to close by the end of this month.

In his mid-fifties, Mr. Bradley's future plans are not clear, according to TD Ameritrade spokesperson Kim Hillyer.

As part of planning for the successful merger of the two, Tim Hockey, president and CEO of TD Ameritrade, needed representation from Scottrade on the management team, said Ms. Hillyer. "Having someone from Scottrade in that position made sense," she said, adding that Mr. Bradley's legacy at the firm was deep. He was a leader in building the firm's institutional or RIA custody business, and was well known as an advocate for RIAs, she said.

In 2012, Mr. Bradley left TD Ameritrade's RIA business, known as TD Ameritrade Institutional, after 20 years to become the head of retail. Tom Nally replaced Mr. Bradley at the time, and he remains in that position. Mr. Bradley has been at the company in various roles for 31 years.

TD Ameritrade Institutional — one of the big four custodians, along with Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions, Schwab Advisor Services and Pershing Advisor Solutions — shares a piece of an estimated $2.5 trillion in custody assets among the biggest players.

TD does not make public its assets under custody, but reports 5,000 registered investment adviser clients.

From the late 1990s until he left the RIA business in 2012, Mr. Bradley was on of a handful of executives at the custodians who shepherded RIA clients from small, one- or two-man shops managing tens of millions of dollars of client assets to thriving businesses that now manage hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, industry observers noted.

"Over that time, the RIA community grew from a scattered gathering of small business to an industry trying to find a way to serve clients and sizable, sophisticated firms that today are attracting private equity money and investors," said Philip Palaveev, CEO of The Ensemble Practice, a consulting firm. "Certainly, Tom Bradley was one of the leaders in the industry whose voice was very respected."

Mr. Palaveev included Mr. Bradley with Schwab's Bernie Clark, Charles Goldman, formerly with both Schwab and Fidelity, and Mark Tibergien of Pershing as a key leader for the industry.

"Back then, in the early 2000s, the large custodians had the talent and resources and RIAs were looking to them for guidance," he said. "Now, those same RIAs have talent and resources."

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