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Skip Schweiss exits TD Ameritrade ahead of Schwab acquisition

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Longtime TD Ameritrade executive Skip Schweiss has left the custodian ahead of its acquisition by rival Charles Schwab.

It’s the second high-profile departure from TD Ameritrade in the past two weeks.

Schweiss announced his exit on Twitter Aug. 4, recommending people follow his personal account and thanking them for “following my adventures” at TD Ameritrade.

A TD Ameritrade spokesman confirmed that Schweiss had left the company “to pursue new opportunities,” effective Aug. 3, but declined to comment further.

“The acquisition is scheduled to close later this year and it’s not uncommon during these kinds of transactions to see employees depart for a variety of reasons,” the spokesman said.

Schweiss did not respond to an immediate request for comment.

Schweiss, who had worked at TD Ameritrade for 12 years, is set to become president of the Financial Planning Association later this year. He had faced criticism after accepting the position over alleged conflicts stemming from the dual positions of FPA president and head of retirement plan solutions at TD Ameritrade.

"Skip informed us that he left the firm and yesterday was his last day," said a FPA spokesoman in a statement. "This has no impact on his volunteer leadership role as 2021 FPA President."

Schweiss’ departure comes only a couple weeks after Dani Fava, TD Ameritrade’s former director of institutional innovation, moved to Envestnet as head of strategic development. Fava had rolled out TD Ameritrade’s AI voice capabilities and managed the launch of iRebal to the Veo platform as well as the model market center.

Most recently, Schweiss was head of the retirement solutions business at TD Ameritrade and was responsible for advisor advocacy. He also served as president of TD Ameritrade Trust Company.

Schwab is on track to acquire TD Ameritrade by the end of the year, according to statements made by Walt Bettinger on the company’s most recent earnings call July 21. The deal awaits approval from the Federal Reserve and is subject to other closing conditions, the company said. A Schwab spokesman declined to comment on timing.

Skip Schweiss at TD Ameritrade Institutional's 2016 LINC Conference.

Schweiss started his advisor advocacy work about three months before Dodd-Frank was passed in 2010, he told Financial Planning at the TD Ameritrade LINC Conference in January.

“I remember thinking to myself, ‘This advocacy work should keep me busy for a year or two,’” he said.

Ten years later, he said he hasn’t had a dull moment. In the interview, he reflected on his time at TD Ameritrade and the energy he and his team had spent trying to shape the next generation of RIAs and make the profession more sustainable.

“Long after any of us as individuals might not be around anymore, actively engaged in it, we want and need this profession to grow and continue to succeed far into the future,” he said.

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