The move will happen just after Labor Day. After several years of preparation behind the scenes, the merger of our custodian TD Ameritrade Institutional with Charles Schwab will complete its final steps at the end of this summer. We at Blue Spark Financial have been talking to clients about this since 2019, when Schwab first announced it would buy TD. Covid slowed the merge, as is easy to understand. TD is now sending letters to all clients letting them know what to do.
The bottom line is that your accounts’ custodian will change but little else. The Schwab website interface is similar enough that there should be little difference for you when looking at your accounts. Schwab says it will offer the same — or better — great service and low-cost transactions that we knew at TD.
When you get the letter, no action is needed. However, make sure you can access your accounts online at TD’s website, so you will be able to immediately access them after Labor Day at Schwab’s site. Kim can help you with this if you have trouble, reach out to her if you need assistance.
We have done much research over the last few years to ascertain whether Schwab will provide the best service over any other alternatives. We made the decision to remain with the new combined entity. As always, we will continue to do our due diligence to make sure all our third-party providers meet the needs of our clients.
The date for the final move is September 5, so when you log on to your site, you will go to the Schwab website instead of the TD website. We are hoping it will be seamless, as they say. Your account, its history, and its documents will automatically move to Schwab.
History of the Merger (Acquisition)
To be clear, it is not really a “merger,” as Schwab bought TDAI. The deal puts Schwab in league with Fidelity, Vanguard, and Blackrock. The acquisition of TD Ameritrade gives much greater scale to Schwab, which should help it grow and serve clients at lower costs. TDAI itself had earlier grown with the purchase of Scottrade in 2017.
The new combined total is approximately $6 trillion in client assets and 28 million brokerage accounts, Schwab says. The two companies had been operating independently since the 2019 deal. Schwab will work to complete the merger process Sept. 2 through Sept. 5. After the transition date, clients will log in to Charles Schwab going forward.
TD has long been a leader in technology, and Schwab is keeping several components that aid RIAs in their management and trading of client accounts. “Combining the strengths of Schwab and TD Ameritrade will enable the company to invest in enhanced client experience capabilities and further its financial success to the benefit of clients, employees and stockholders,” Schwab says.