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TDAmeritrade Buys Options Firm Thinkorswim

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Thinkorswim Group Inc. stockholders approved June 9 the proposed acquisition of the firm by TD Ameritrade. The acquisition was expected to close on June 11, according to a thinkorswim press release. Tom Bradley, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional, noted the proposed acquisition at NAPFA’s National Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, June 5, after attendee queries were presented to him concerning the complicated nature of options. Bradley noted that it is true that advisors don’t use options much, but this shouldn’t be the case, he said, because “a lot of options strategies aren’t complicated.”

TD Ameritrade hopes its acquisition of thinkorswim–a provider of online brokerage and investor education services, including options trading–can help advisors with challenges regarding options.

Another attendee told Bradley during the Q&A session after his presentation that her firm steers clear of options because they are not covered by E&O insurance.

In a follow-up e-mail asking for clarification on TD Ameritrade’s position on options and insurance, Managing Director of Adviser Advocacy and Industry Affairs Brian Simpfl wrote that TD Ameritrade understands “this is a critical issue for advisors.” He said the custodian would “work with third-party insurance providers to develop a solution for advisors who wanted E&O coverage for options,” but that TD Ameritrade itself “would not directly provide E&O insurance to RIAs.”


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