Toronto-Dominion Bank has reorganized the management of its investments unit just days after announcing an equity offering to finance expansion of the business.
J. Duncan Gibson, 50, who was a vice chairman and head of wealth management, resigned these duties Friday, a spokeswoman confirmed. Mr. Gibson, who had overseen the bank's global brokerage businesses since 1997, will be reassigned.
Stephen D. McDonald, 43, a vice chairman who oversaw the bank's group administration division, succeeds Mr. Gibson. Neither Mr. Gibson nor Mr. McDonald was available to comment.
The moves came a week after the Canadian bank announced plans to take 10% of its brokerage business public in a bid to raise currency for expansion.
Industry observers said the change in command came as a surprise. Hugh M. Brown, an equity analyst at Nesbitt Burns Securities Inc. in Toronto, said he didn't believe there had been any problem in the wealth management area.
"Toronto-Dominion generally has had a fairly stable management structure," said Jeff Marsden, a consultant at Taddingstone Consulting Group, also of Toronto. However, he added, "the wealth management group has really changed in the last five years."
Those changes have included an aggressive acquisition strategy in brokerage, both in the United States and elsewhere abroad.
In the United States, the bank has bought three discount brokerage operations since 1996: Waterhouse Investors Services, Kennedy Cabot, and Jack White & Co. The U.S. subsidiaries all operate under the Waterhouse brand.
Toronto-Dominion is not just expanding its U.S. brokerage operation through acquisitions, however. It plans to hire up to 1,000 brokers at Waterhouse this year, a Waterhouse spokeswoman confirmed. The brokerage currently has 1,318 brokers.
The company declined to discuss its strategy in any detail because the stock registration is pending before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.