Stock images of Schwab and TD Ameritrade buildings stylized with headline that says "The New RIA-lity" Charles Schwab completed its $22 billion purchase of TD Ameritrade on Oct. 6, 2020 (Images: Shutterstock; design: ALM/Chris Nicholls)

On the day of the mega-deal’s completion, Bernie Clark — head of Advisor Services for Schwab — described the transaction’s significance as being “really huge.”

It could be viewed as “the biggest thing we’ve seen happening in this space, in bringing great companies together with like-minded approaches to their clients and an opportunity for all investors,” Clark said on Oct. 6.

The combined brokerage firm has over $6 trillion in DIY investor and RIA client assets. In June, the total assets handled by RIAs with the two firms was $2.6 trillion — of which $1.9 trillion was at Schwab and $700 billion at TD Ameritrade.

When the deal was first announced on Nov. 25, 2019, Schwab said the transaction potentially could unite over 14,000 RIAs.

What’s Next?

Looking broadly at the situation for RIAs, though,  there are “two camps forming,” said Gavin Spitzner, president of Wealth Consulting Partners, after the deal’s announcement. “One, for RIAs now with TD Ameritrade expressly not to be with Schwab, … and others who likely ”will stay.”

It’s worth recognizing that “there is no real truly branded fiduciary business — branded in terms of the consumer market,” according to Mark Tibergien, the former head of Pershing’s Advisor Solutions and current board member of RIA Pathstone

See these features for more details on the the deal’s history and insights into what it means for the future of the RIA industry: