Dave Kelly vividly remembers pounding the pavement in Vancouver’s industrial park, looking for clients as a rookie financial advisor. Thirty years later, he’s pounding a different path as the new president and national sales manager of Toronto-based TD Wealth Private Investment Advice (PIA), at which he will oversee 742 advisors.

“While I wouldn’t necessarily wish that experience on a broad set of folks, I have been very thankful for it because it gives me an appreciation for advisors and an understanding of how difficult it is to run and build a practice,” Kelly says. “And today, I still hold that appreciation of what advisors need and value to be successful.”

The new appointment is only one of several changes that parent firm TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. implemented in 2013. At the beginning of the year, TD Waterhouse announced it was dropping the Waterhouse name in favour of Wealth for all its divisions. Then, in July, Tim Hockey, CEO and president of TD Canada Trust and group head of Canadian banking, automobile finance and credit cards, added TD Wealth to his responsibilities.

“Now, we have wealth, business banking and TD Canada Trust all reporting into one senior executive for the first time; and, to me, that is an incredible opportunity for TD,” Kelly says. “We’re able to meet our clients’ needs as an organization together and provide a truly client-centric approach across all three channels. That will enable us to win share in the end.”

Kelly will play a role in implementing that strategy as he takes the reins from Mike Reilly, former president and national sales manager with TD Wealth PIA. Reilly, who spent the past nine years working with the firm’s advisors, will be retiring in November 2014.

Over the next year, Reilly will be assisting with both the Canadian and U.S. wealth-management businesses, as well as ensuring a smooth transition as he passes the torch to Kelly. Reilly’s new title is vice chairman of TD Wealth PIA.

Kelly will work on some of the strategies that Reilly laid out during his tenure, including maintaining the firm’s strong focus on financial planning and implementing an upgrade to the internal investment and wealth planning system in 2014.

Says Reilly: “[Kelly] brings a continuity of strategy, culture and values shared by the TD Wealth PIA team.”

For many advisors, Kelly won’t be the new kid in the playground. Prior to this appointment, he was senior vice president at TD Wealth Private Client Group (PCG).

Kelly, with his strong background in portfolio management, would like to see an increase in discretionary portfolio management among advisors. To that effect, he announced a new portfolio-management platform for TD Wealth PIA advisors in September.

“Discretionary portfolio management is particularly important when you’re dealing in the high net-worth space,” Kelly says. “Having a discretionary capability makes sense – and I will certainly take the time to approach advisors about the opportunity, why it makes sense and enable them if that is what they want to do.”

Communication is key for Kelly, and although many advisors will recognize him from his time heading up TD Wealth PCG, Kelly still is putting a priority on meeting all advisors face to face.

Kelly already has sent out two internal videos to advisors, both to introduce himself and discuss business strategy for the year ahead. In addition, Kelly will be visiting every advisory branch by the end of October.

“My No. 1 priority is getting out and making sure we’re talking about the business with all of our advisors,” he says. “I want to get a lot of their input, thoughts and ideas on what we need to do in order to move the business forward. My goal is to engage the advisors a bit more on our strategy, so they feel more connected to our vision.”

Part of that vision includes the new brand, a gradual initiative as the Waterhouse name gets phased out and the Wealth brand is slowly implemented over the remainder of 2013 and into 2014. Earlier this year, in an interview for Investment Executive‘s 2013 Brokerage Report Card, Reilly noted that the true strength of the brand resonates with the TD name, so the elimination of Waterhouse tag will not have a negative impact for either advisors or their clients.

“Our competitive advantage is TD – this is our hallmark,” Reilly says. “When we’re talking to advisors, recruitments or rookies coming to our firm, our clients and partners, the one thing that we know for sure is that our competitive advantage is TD. So, this [rebrand] now matches up with TD Wealth in both Canada and the U.S. – and it is a huge positive for us.”

The Waterhouse name was first introduced in Canada after TD purchased New York-based Waterhouse Investors Services Inc. in 1996. This, in turn, replaced the TD Green Line Investors Services brand.

Once the rebranding is complete, it will better align the former Waterhouse services and brands, says Reilly, including TD Wealth PCG and its TD Wealth PIA, TD Wealth Private Investment Counsel and TD Wealth Financial Planning divisions.

© 2013 Investment Executive. All rights reserved.