TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts retiring

AP News
Posted: Sep 16, 2011 10:22 AM
TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts retiring

TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts said Friday he is retiring from the online brokerage's board to focus on other business ventures, but the family will continue to hold two board seats.

The 70-year-old Ricketts has invested in several startup companies like the American Film Company and a bison meat distributor called Golden Bison. His family also bought the Chicago Cubs in 2009.

Besides his new business ventures, Ricketts also oversees the Opportunity Education charitable foundation and the Ending Spending political advocacy group.

The Ricketts family owns about 15 percent of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.'s stock and chooses two board members. Ricketts' younger son, Todd, will take Joe Ricketts' seat on the board alongside his brother, Pete.

Toronto Dominion Bank is Ameritrade's biggest shareholder, with 45 percent of the stock.

Ricketts said the company's current management team is "growing TD Ameritrade into a company that now has hundreds of billions of dollars in client assets and leads our competitors with hundreds of thousands of trades per day."

Ricketts helped found First Omaha Securities in 1975. That retail brokerage was one of the first to handle equity trades without providing investment advice. It later became Ameritrade.

Ricketts served as chief executive from 1981 through March 1999. He was co-CEO from March 1999 to May 2000. And he again served as CEO from August 2000 through February 2001 during a transition period.

Current CEO Fred Tomczyk said Ricketts led the company to embrace new technology and tools that helped investors direct their own portfolios.

"For more than three decades he has been a champion for the retail investor, introducing new education, tools, information and technology that have helped millions of Americans take control of their financial futures," Tomczyk said.

Its shares rose 22 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $15.12 in morning trading Friday.