TD Ameritrade's Tech Budget Signals IT Career Opportunities

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Opportunities for both IT staff and financial adivsors are on the upswing at TD Ameritrade. The discount broker is ramping up IT spending and plans to invest $30 million in technology and what Chief Executive Fred Tomczyk calls "client-facing" activities in its fiscal year starting in October.

That level of tech spending is a multiple of the SEC's $12 million IT upgrade budget for fiscal 2011, Investment News observes.

Last week TD Ameritrade broke ground on a new 12-story office tower and pavilion in Omaha, part of a larger corporate campus that will house a third of its 6,000 full-time employees including the corporate, operations and technology units.

Tomczyk explained on a conference call that increasing investment in technology is "particularly important" to keep growing its base of clients who trade online. Although he didn't mention hiring plans, the budget bodes well for IT opportunities there. Another favorable sign: Despite the past quarter's weak stock markets, TD Ameritade's net income in the June quarter climbed to $179 million from $163 million the previous quarter.

The firm is also busy recruiting registered investment advisors who broke away from other firms to use its custody services. It says 212 advisors came aboard during the nine months ended in June, compared with 202 recruits during the full fiscal year ended last Sept. 30.

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