Making the Transition from Advisor to CEO

Vanessa Oligino is director of business performance solutions at TD Ameritrade. She leads the content strategy and is responsible for the development of practice management programs, thought leadership, tools and resources designed to help drive growth and efficiency for registered investment advisors. Prior to joining the company in 2010, Vanessa held various positions at JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Pershing. Her experience spans retail banking, credit card, brokerage and securities services. Her functional practice areas include marketing, practice management and sales support.

Vanessa holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently Series 7 and 66 licensed.

I spoke with Vanessa at the TD Ameritrade Institutional LINC national conference in San Diego on February 7, 2019.

Tell me about your role in the things that your team is doing to help independent advisors.

Our group is called business performance solutions, and it used to be called practice management. One of the reasons that we changed the name was because we thought practice management didn't speak to what we do and our mission. Our mission is to help inspire advisors take action and to help them along their journey. In order to do that, we renamed ourselves business performance solutions, because what we're trying to do with all the educational programs we create, our research and the events that we hold is to drive an advisor's business performance in a positive way.

My role is to think about the most top-of-mind challenges and opportunities for advisors, do research on those topics, and create educational programs around those practice management programs. For example, we have our FA Insight advisor-benchmarking studies. Since the year 2000, we've collected historical benchmarking data on advisory firms. We can tell a lot of different things around where are they struggling, where are they doing well, what hasn't been moving at all, and how can we help effect change. That also helps to influence the programs that we create.