Last Labor Day weekend, Charles Schwab achieved a monumental feat by seamlessly transitioning over 7,000 advisors, almost 4 million client accounts, and an astounding $1.3 trillion in assets from TD Ameritrade to its own platform. Bernie Clark, the head of advisor services at Charles Schwab, reiterated the magnitude of this accomplishment, stating, "This was a really big weekend for us."
This significant achievement marks a crucial milestone in Schwab's ongoing acquisition and integration of TD Ameritrade, which has been unfolding during an eventful year for the company. While Schwab experienced a decrease in stock value earlier this year due to concerns about deposit outflows, the company has managed to recover some of those losses, currently down approximately 27% for the year. Furthermore, Schwab recently disclosed their plans for cost-cutting measures, such as layoffs and office closures, signaling their dedication to adapt and thrive in an evolving landscape.
The integration process executed over the holiday weekend had been years in the making. In November 2019, Schwab announced its purchase of TD Ameritrade for a staggering $26 billion, following both companies' decision to eliminate commission fees. With the acquisition finalized in 2020, Schwab established itself as a predominant player in the online brokerage industry while bolstering its position as a leader in the RIA custody sector. Registered investment advisors heavily rely on custodians like Schwab to safeguard client assets and provide essential investment, technological, and ancillary services.
Schwab's successful completion of this massive integration further solidifies their commitment to growth, innovation, and delivering top-tier services to their expanding client base.
Smooth Transition for Schwab and TD Ameritrade Integration
Schwab successfully integrated TD Ameritrade clients and advisors with minimal attrition. In July, the company reported a decline in net new asset flows, attributed to the departures of TD Ameritrade clients and advisors.
The smooth transition was made possible by months of preparation by Schwab executives, staff, advisors, and clients. Hundreds of employees worked tirelessly over the weekend to ensure a seamless integration.
Some advisors had custodied assets with both Schwab and TD, which helped facilitate the transition as they were already familiar with both companies' systems.
Managing Director at Schwab Advisor Services, Tom Bradley, highlights the early obstacle posed by the pandemic, which prevented in-person meetings with TD advisors and clients. However, as restrictions eased, face-to-face meetings resumed. Bradley emphasizes that combining the Schwab and TD management teams was a crucial step in the integration process, alongside the technology integrations that followed.
Labor Day weekend marked the "Super Bowl" for Schwab, with Bradley expressing satisfaction in the outcome of the integration.