“Under the current administration, this is not likely to get the same scrutiny from an anti-trust perspective that it might otherwise get,” said the anonymous New York advisor.

With less—or no—revenue coming from commissions, Besaw wondered what the future services provided to RIAs and the end-investor would look like.

“In the short-term, this deal is a good thing, but in the long-term, I don’t know,” said Besaw. “I do worry, if costs go down, how custodial platforms will continue to pay for the services they provide. It takes a lot of infrastructure for them to do what they do, and they’re not going to go to zero fees across the board.”

Kurz argued that, rather than worry about the acquisition, advisors are better served focusing on the evolution of their own firms. They may even want to go ahead and embrace Schwab’s focus on larger, enterprise-style firms, he said.

“For financial advisors and firms that are custodied at these two firms and are concerned about the future, we would challenge them to focus first on their approach with clients, their processes and their client engagement systems,” said Kurz. “We have found that when you deliver an exceptional client experience and you do so with a straightforward approach that clearly positions the client at the head of the table, these types of business activities will provide opportunities to grow and evolve for the better.”

For most advisors, though, the acquisition will be much ado about nothing, said Kiely.

“I really don’t see much of a problem. The day after the merger will be just like the day before,” said Kiely. “The two companies will absorb each other incrementally.”

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