“We have been getting more inquiries than usual in light of the ... merger.,” said Robb Baldwin, founder, president and CEO of TradePMR, in comments released to the media. “Our advisor communications team is in talks with a number of advisors who are interested in TradePMR’s solution. We will continue to field calls and speak with quality advisors who value solid operational support and high service levels.”

TD Ameritrade’s services have been perceived as superior to Schwab’s, in part because of a more open corporate culture, said Andi McNamara, director of financial planning at Lexington, Mass.-based Wingate Wealth Advisors.

“In my experience, TD has been a more flexible custodian than Schwab or Fidelity,” said McNamara. “It was always easier to get a decision-maker on the phone if you needed soething done that may be a little out of the ordinary.”

TD Ameritrade’s employees have seemed more empowered by their corporate culture to answer questions directly and honestly, said McNamara, and have been quicker to acknowledge and adjust to industry trends.

Other advisors have avoided Schwab because of what they see as poor service and value to advisors and clients.

“Between Schwab and TD Ameritrade, Schwab is historically not as competitive and has not provided services that I’ve experienced that come anywhere close to what TD has offered advisors,” said the anonymous New York advisor. “They’ve been an expensive proposition for clients. Anyone dealing with Schwab will have to push back on that.”

TD Ameritrade has often ended up being a better value for the end client, he said, offering more services and often at lower prices than Schwab.

TD Ameritrade has also built a reputation for innovation, particularly around advisor-facing technology, thanks in part to its open-architecture approach, advisors say. While Schwab has also made great strides in its technology offerings its more closed ecosystem is less conducive to innovation.

“TD has been aggressive in their approach to technology and innovation, obviously driven by their position as a smaller upstart competitor to the likes of Schwab,” said Kinney. “Their technology improvements have been a huge boon to our small independent practice, as they have allowed us to service more clients without adding staff. I fear that this merger will stifle that innoviation, potentially with impacts throughout the fintech industry.”

In his blog posts, Kitces said the deal puts the future of TD Ameritrade’s open-architecture VEO platform up in the air. Schwab’s competing offering, the OpenView Gateway, still lags VEO in openness, he said, meaning fintech start-ups may not have a custodial partner to work with to get their new technologies in front of advisors.

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