Charles Schwab to Integrate TD Ameritrade Platforms

Schwab and TD’s merger comes amid heated competition in the brokerage industry which became embroiled in a price war

Nearly two months after it won approval from US antitrust watchdog for its $26 billion acquisition of TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab said it plans to retain and integrate the former rival’s thinkorswim and thinkpipes trading platforms.

Schwab anticipates the integration, between the two largest publicly traded discount brokers, to take between 18 to 36 months following the close of Ameritrade takeover. It will also include the educational offerings and tools accompanying them, as well as TD Ameritrade’s institutional portfolio rebalancing solution iRebal®.

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They will be integrated into Schwab’s existing trading offerings alongside other technology solutions that are currently being evaluated as part of the combined platform.

For users of Schwab’s StreetSmart Edge® platforms, there will be no change. As for advisors, TD Ameritrade’s flagship trading platform offers a plethora of sophisticated charting tools, customization features, and much more. The benefits also include the ability to execute orders directly from real-time charts, live streaming quotes and real-time news, advanced order functionality, and slippage controls.

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“The combination of our respective trading teams’ experience and capabilities with the advanced trading technology of thinkpipes will create an even more compelling offer for advisors when integration is complete,” said Bernie Clark, Executive Vice President and Head of Schwab Advisor Services.

Schwab and TD’s merger comes amid heated competition in the brokerage industry after major brokers became embroiled in a price war by slashing trading fees to zero. This accelerated pressure across the yield curve late in the second quarter, weighing in on trading revenue that declined 7 percent to $193 million, according to Schwab’s latest earnings report.

TD Ameritrade purchased Thinkorswim, which is geared for self-directed stock, options, and futures traders from ThinkorSwim Group, in 2009 in a $606 million deal that established the company in the fast-growing area of options and futures trading.

Most recently, it launched a web-based version of the thinkorswim® trading platform to provide easy access to equity and derivative markets. This combines trader functionality with graphical user interface and a synchronized experience on any device.

Ameritrade, based in Omaha, Nebraska, said the new web terminal completes their suite of platforms and provides the experience of being able to log on from anywhere, which meets the mobility needs of their customers.

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