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Industry Spotlight > RIAs

The Schwab-TD Ameritrade Deal Is Finally Here

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Reports that Charles Schwab planned to swoop in and buy rival TD Ameritrade started making headlines on Nov. 20, 2019, and that’s when the news team at ThinkAdvisor and Investment Advisor started covering the developments.

Official confirmation of the deal didn’t happen until Nov. 25, and by then, the RIA community was in full conversation about what the estimated $26 billion transaction would mean.

It’s been a long year since then, and for many RIAs the impact of the deal has only just begun to be felt. On Oct. 6, 2020, Schwab said another 18-36 months were needed to combine the technology and operations of the newly combined entity.

We highlight the ins and outs of the deal over the past 12 months — and this history behind it — in this month’s cover story. Our extensive timeline chronicles the many developments that laid the seeds of the mammoth acquisition.

We also present author and RIA Creative Planning President Peter Mallouk’s views on what it means for the industry, along with insights from former columnist and head of BNY Mellon Pershing’s Advisor Solutions unit Mark Tibergien.“This will be an interesting decade for transformation in the business,” Tibergien says.

While the cover story focuses on the behemoths in the advisor space, Tim Welsh’s Industry Insights contribution this month zooms in on what’s happening at the ground level. As usual, he offers an interesting look at the dynamics of the RIA field and some of the positive trends affecting smaller advisory firms.

“Despite the purchase of small-advisor friendly TD Ameritrade, there are many advancements in technology and new service model choices, making the opportunities for smaller advisors never better,” Welsh explains.

In addition, columnist and consultant Angie Herbers tackles growth strategies for RIAs in the face of growing competition and consolidation. “The future of the space will be determined by how well leaders are able to balance multiple areas to grow their firms,” she writes.

Meanwhile, we’re pleased to share the latest thinking of portfolio expert Bob Rodriguez, who used to lead First Pacific Advisors, and the story of RBC Wealth Management’s Ann Senne has been pushing to help the broker-dealer transform itself into a “digitally enabled” investment advisory business.

At a tumultuous time in the industry — and in the country, we wish you a safe and sound autumn and Thanksgiving. We also thank you for your continued support of this publication. Please send any news and views to [email protected].


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