TD Ameritrade Institutional said ramping up services to help breakaway brokers paid off in fiscal 2010, with 212 brokers joining firms using it as their custodian.

"The fee-based fiduciary business model of independent registered investment advisers is becoming more attractive to brokers who are tied to legacy technology, proprietary products and sales-driven cultures," Tom Bradley, the president of TD Ameritrade Institutional, said in a July 21 press release.

A horse race has broken out among custodians to serve those professionals, said Alois Pirker, a director at Aite Group.

"The more services they can offer," he said, "the more assets they can receive."

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