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Schwab Moves Impact Conference Online, Shares Merger Update

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Charles Schwab says its annual event for registered investment advisors will be held online later this year.

“We had planned to come together this fall in Boston for our 30th year of Impact” from Nov. 10-13, said Bernie Clark, head of the firm’s Advisor Services unit, in a blog post on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, that is not in the cards for 2020. We have made the decision to host Impact as a virtual experience.”

This news comes several weeks after BNY Mellon Pershing cancelled its Insite event (which had been set for June 10-12 in Chicago). Morningstar, though, has postponed its yearly investment conference, planned for June 3–5 in Chicago.

“We are excited to come together in a new way and build a unique and meaningful experience that we believe today’s environment requires of us,” Clark explained. “We look forward to sharing more details with you in summer 2020!”

Schwab advisors — and TD Ameritrade advisors, too — may be able to obtain continuing education credits from attending the virtual conference. “We don’t have all the details yet, but we fully expect there to be as many credits through the virtual event as we would have for the live version,” the firm shared in a statement with ThinkAdvisor.

The 2019 Impact gathering in San Diego had some 4,600 registrants — including roughly 2,200 advisors. The four-day affair included about 130 keynote speeches, educational sessions, on-stage presentations and forums.

TD Ameritrade Update

On a call with the media Tuesday, Clark insisted — as he had last week with equity analysts — that the firm’s $26 billion merger with rival TD Ameritrade is on track. “We fully expect [government] approval in the second half of the year,” he explained.

While the two firms “remain competitors,” they are working on their platform integration, Clark said. They are not, however, sharing information that is considered more sensitive, such as specific client data.

As for the technology that could be included in a merged entity, like TD’s iRebal for portfolio rebalancing, the executive explained “we don’t want to leave anything great … behind.”

He added: “We won’t be charging custody fees and will be as open-architecture as we need to be.”

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