Ameritrade Advisor Services got together with advisors this week at the Westin Century City Hotel & Spa in Los Angeles. Those on the conference circuit may remember the hotel as the location of the last TD Waterhouse conference held in Los Angeles.
Location is not the only thing Ameritrade is trying to lift from TD Waterhouse. The Omaha-based dicount broker has been making a fierce effort to build its custody business to financial advisors, and the efforts are showing progress. While advisor expos are major events for market-leader Charles Schwab and TD Waterhouse, last year marked the first time that Ameritrade held a conference for advisor clients and prospects. That event lasted just one day and lacked an exhibitor hall for fund firms and other vendors.
This year Ameritrade added an exhibit hall for PowerSource '04 that drew more than 50 exhibitors, mostly fund firms. The conference -- which ran Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday -- also featured Fox News' Neil Cavuto as a keynote speaker.
For fun, advisors were provided to a special backlot reception at LA Center Studios, the production company behind the Charlie's Angels franchise (unfortunately, Drew Barrymore appeared only in spirit).
Advisors did not have to leave the hotel to get into the entertainment spirit. Sharing the hotel was a entertainment conference pitching next year's DVDs. Watch out for the first three seasons Seinfeld due on November 13!
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