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Schwab Moves to Calm RIA Jitters Ahead of TDA Merger

As Schwab gets set to acquire rival TD Ameritrade, the discount broker is out with a set of promises intended to appease RIAs that manage less than $100 million, InvestmentNews reports.

Schwab, already the industry’s biggest RIA custody provider, stands to put much more distance between itself and rivals like Fidelity and Pershing with its $26-billion acquisition of TDA, which is expected to close in late 2020.

Some RIAs fear Schwab will neglect them to concentrate on bigger practices, writes InvestmentNews. In particular, Schawb’s promises are meant to mollify RIAs on TDA’s custody platform. On average, TDA-linked RIAs manage less than Schwab incumbents.

Against this backdrop, Schwab has issued the following five-point “Pledge to the independent advisor community.”

  1. Best-of-breed custody services, no AUM minimums, no custody fees — and no intention to raise them

  2. Industry-leading technology featuring open architecture and increasing access to third-party providers

  3. “Best and brightest” RIA-support personnel in the industry

  4. “Indepth” practice-management consulting for all of its institutional clients

  5. Ongoing efforts to streamline account-opening procedures to help advisors “bring clients on board securely with just a few clicks”

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