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E*Trade Names Two Board Members, Randall To Retire; Group To Expand To 12

By Brett Philbin Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- E*Trade Financial Corp. (ETFC) appointed Rodger Lawson and Rebecca Saeger, two former financial services executives, to its board, expanding the number of members to 12 from 11. The online brokerage also said Lewis Randall, its longest serving board member, will retire, effective immediately, after nearly 30 years on the board. The moves come less than two weeks after E*Trade named Frank Petrilli, a former chief executive of TD Waterhouse, its new chairman, replacing Chief Executive Steven Freiberg, who held the role on an interim basis since last May. That appointment was notable given his prior ties to Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.T, TD), a 45% owner of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (AMTD), a rival online brokerage that often is cited by analysts and investors as a potential acquirer of E*Trade. Commenting on the new additions, which all had previous jobs with E*Trade's main rivals, Freiberg said. "our recent appointees' relevant experience in financial services was certainly a factor in their selection. Their expertise and respective backgrounds should make them great resources, as the company's management team and board execute on the strategic vision to grow the franchise." Before joining E*Trade, Lawson, 65, most recently served as president and chief executive of Fidelity Investments and is credited with leading the financial services and mutual fund company through challenging market conditions. Saeger, 56, was executive vice president and chief marketing officer at E*Trade rival Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW) from 2004 through 2010. E*Trade's board was a focus of investor attention in late 2011, after the online brokerage was pushed by its largest shareholder, Citadel LLC, to explore a potential sale of the company. At one point in the public back and forth, Citadel Founder and Chief Executive Kenneth Griffin, had requested the company replace board members Michael Parks and Donna Weaver with independent directors. E*Trade ultimately decided to remain independent, with its board saying that executing its business plan was the "best alternative for increasing shareholder value." E*Trade said the new board members will stand for re-election at its next annual shareholders meeting in May. Shares of E*Trade recently traded down 0.9% at $9.11. The stock has climbed 14% year-to-date. -By Brett Philbin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2173;

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