TD Ameritrade Institutional, a unit of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., announced Thursday it had introduced a Business Evaluator tool to help advisers join or start a registered investment advisory firm.

The Omaha company said the number of financial advisers interested in joining or starting registered investment advisory firms has doubled in the first eight months of this year, to more than 1,500, from a year earlier. Advisers considering moving to TD Ameritrade Institutional advised on nearly $160 billion of assets.

"More advisers are looking for transition support as the equity market and business environment improves and brokers gain more confidence to approach their clients about leaving full-commission wire houses," said Tom Bradley, the president of TD Ameritrade Institutional. "We've seen a 24% increase in the number of breakaway brokers joining TD Ameritrade in just the first six months of the year."

Business Evaluator lets advisers compare business models, estimate expenses, identify their motivations and strengths and ultimately design a customized action plan to ease the transition to independence.

TD Ameritrade Institutional sells brokerage and custody services to more than 4,000 fee-based, independent registered investment advisers.

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