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Schwab: What Advisors Can Expect From TD Ameritrade Integration

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What You Need to Know

  • Schwab will be moving client accounts and assets from TD Ameritrade to Schwab's platform in the second half of 2023.
  • The company will start communicating and getting the integration going from an advisor perspective in earnest in the second half of 2022.
  • Advisors should expect a brief blackout on certain functions as the conversion gets closer, but not for trading and Move Money.

Charles Schwab is preparing to bring TD Ameritrade clients to its platform, and the completion of the integration of TD Ameritrade into Schwab’s business is still on track to be completed within 36 months, according to John Tovar, managing director of wealth management services for TD Ameritrade Institutional.

“As far as the actual conversion date … when we will be moving the accounts and assets from TD Ameritrade over to the Schwab platform, we’re still targeting that second half of 2023,” he said Wednesday in the virtual Schwab Impact conference session “Integration Update: Preparing TD Ameritrade Advisors.”

“Our plan is to begin communicating and getting the integration going from an advisor perspective in earnest in the second half of 2022,” he told viewers.

“From an integration standpoint, we are still really deep into the conversion planning process and our primary focus is to make this as seamless a transition as possible,” he said.

The company has an “unwavering commitment to all advisors, as we go through this process, that we will ensure that you are prepared, well-informed and we have informational and training material well in advance of conversion,” he told advisors.

Schwab completed its acquisition of TD Ameritrade in October 2020.

Expect ‘Brief Blackout’

When accounts are moved over from TD Ameritrade to Schwab, “new account numbers will be assigned,” Tovar noted.

Additionally, “as we get closer to the actual conversion date … there’ll likely be a brief blackout on certain functions, such as updating the account information on the platform,” he warned TD Ameritrade advisors. But trading and “all Move Money functionality will not be disrupted through this transition process,” he said.

Although TD Ameritrade client account numbers will be changed when shifted over to Schwab, he said “all of the attributes on the existing client accounts will come over,” including standing instructions and transactional history.

To further ease TD Ameritrade advisors’ minds, he said: “Advisors should rest assured that if we make any decisions that will impact the advisor or their end clients, they’ll have plenty of notice.”

Diving deeper into the integration process, Neesha Hathi, chief digital officer and managing director at Schwab, said the company is “deep in the process of integrating much of TD Ameritrade’s core trading technology, including the popular” thinkpipes and iRebal portfolio rebalancing capabilities that many advisors use.

Schwab is also “hard at work combining the popular features of both” Schwab Advisor Center and TD Ameritrade’s Veo One platforms “into a modernized, industry-leading digital experience,” Hathi told viewers. Company executives have previously said the goal is to combine the best elements of each firm’s platforms.

The company will also “continue to invest for the future to ensure that we can meet your needs well past conversion in areas like personalization, data integration and privacy and security,” she said.

More Positive Digital Adoption Signs

“We continue to see unprecedented digital adoption, prompted by the pandemic but actually continuing at a quicker pace than we would have seen just even a couple of years ago,” Hathi also said.

During the pandemic, Schwab’s Digital Account Open tool “saw a 70% jump in adoption,” she said. There was a also a 40% increase in application programming interface (API) usage by advisors in 2020, she noted.

The company predicts that growth will continue and RIA firms will continue to increase their tech budgets and continue to expand their use of digital solutions with clients, she said.