Omaha-based T.D. Ameritrade has restructured its board, removing two veteran members connected to the company’s largest shareholders: Toronto-Dominion Bank and the company’s founding Ricketts family, according to the Associated Press. Large institutional investors had complained that the two members, who both sat on the mergers and acquisitions committee, impeded potential business-building deals. Toronto Dominion and the Ricketts own 40% and 21% of the brokerage, respectively. Last week, two hedge funds, S.A.C. Capital Advisors of Stamford, Conn., and Jana Partners of New York issued a release commending the company for taking “a significant step toward removing the harmful influence of Toronto-Dominion Bank.” The funds, which together claim to own 8.4% of the company stock, said that the former board members, Wilber Prezzano and Robert Slezak, posed a conflict of interest, prohibiting the exploration of mergers or even a takeover with companies such as E*trade Financial. The three new board members on the five-person panel are each independent directors. Ameritrade spokeswoman Katrina Becker said that the reorganization was designed to be “a straightforward, transparent action so that if there happened to be any perception of influence, that that was eliminated. Our entire board remains committed to building shareholder value.” The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.
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