Joe Ricketts | 2017 Charles Schwab Financial Innovation Award Honoree
Having spent more than 35 years helping to establish and run the world’s largest online brokerage, Joe Ricketts today has returned to his roots, focusing on a variety of entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures.
A pioneer in the use of technology to revolutionize the financial services sector, Mr. Ricketts founded the company now known as TD Ameritrade, a securities industry leader that empowers self-directed investors with powerful and innovative investment tools and training.
After graduating from Creighton University in 1968 with an economics degree, Mr. Ricketts began his professional career first as an investment advisor with Ricketts & Co., then as a registered representative with Dean Witter and later a branch manager at Dun & Bradstreet. In 1975, he co-founded First Omaha Securities, a retail securities brokerage firm in Omaha, Nebraska. Under Ricketts’ leadership, First Omaha Securities was among the first companies to recognize the potential of the newly-deregulated discount securities market. The company grew quickly and, through the use of innovative technology and marketing, evolved into TD Ameritrade, which today manages hundreds of billions of dollars in client assets and leads its competitors with hundreds of thousands of trades per day.
Since 2008, Mr. Ricketts has devoted himself to a variety of entrepreneurial ventures, including DNAinfo.com, High Plains Bison, The Lodge at Jackson Fork and The American Film Company. He has also actively engaged in philanthropy through Opportunity Education Foundation, The Cloisters on the Platte Foundation, The Ricketts Art Foundation, The Ricketts Conservation Foundation and Ending Spending, Inc.
A native of Nebraska, Mr. Ricketts now lives in Little Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Mr. Ricketts and his wife of more than 40 years have four children and 12 grandchildren.