January 26, 2006

TD Ameritrade Deal Finalized

New unit has much to offer advisors, says Tom Bradley

The merger of Ameritrade and TD Waterhouse announced last June was finally completed this week and that's good news for advisors, says Tom Bradley, who heads up the advisor services business of the new entity, TD Ameritrade.

As part of a "meet and greet" session with the company's top executives held at Nasdaq headquarters in New York on January 25, Bradley explained that going forward the company's target advisors would be those with $50 million to $500 million in assets under management, but that they will still be able to service small advisors effectively.

Since the merger had just been finalized, Bradley was still uncertain of how much overlap there is between the 2,700 advisors doing business with TD Waterhouse and the 1,400 custodying assets with Ameritrade, and so still doesn't know how many advisors will be in the new network. He stressed, however, that "it's not the number of advisors, but the quality of them."

CEO Joe Moglia stressed that the RIA channel is one-third of the company's three-part strategy to serve active traders, long-term investors, and investment advisors. "We're trying to do now for investors, what we've done for active traders," added chief operating officer Asiff Hirji.

Among the immediate effects of the finalization of the deal are the closing of two call centers and 40 branch offices that are considered redundant. The public is likely to become more aware of the merger when advertising highlighting the new brand debuts in late spring.

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