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CEO Tim Hockey says Schwab's zero-commission play was 'painful,' but helped TD Ameritrade focus on RIA channel and made it easier to find his successor

The Omaha, Neb.-based broker moves to appease RIA high net worth clients and braces for an upsurge in breakaway brokers that could help its custody business

Author Brooke Southall October 23, 2019 at 6:26 PM
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3 Comments
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Tim Hockey: Nobody wants it to happen on their watch well it did on my watch.

Tom Nally

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Tim Hockey


Steve Sanduski

Steve Sanduski

October 23, 2019 — 9:09 PM
The fact that, "TD was caught flat-footed when Schwab pulled the trigger on zero commissions" is shocking. The move to zero commissions has been telegraphed for years but TD didn’t diversify their revenue enough and was caught with about 28% of their revenue coming from trading commissions on the day Schwab announced free trading. Schwab's comparable figure was in the mid-single digits. A clear example where strategic planning helped Schwab but lack of it hurt TD. Every corporate entity and advisory firm should do an annual planning meeting with quarterly updates and two questions you should always ask is, "What trends are moving against us?" and "What could a competitor do that would be painful to us?" If TD asked those questions, they'd clearly see the trend was toward zero (Robinhood) and a competitor (Schwab) could move to $0 and not suffer nearly the impact as its competitors.
Ivory Tower

Ivory Tower

October 24, 2019 — 6:51 PM
Well said from the cheap seats and luxury of 20/20 hindsight vision, duh. What are you trying to accomplish with your post?
White Board Brilliance

White Board Brilliance

October 28, 2019 — 2:09 PM
I'd say Steve Sanduski's assertion is embarrassingly simple and serves only to cause one to question his motivations and thin corporate experience. Lets hope Mr Sanduski finds a way to delete his embarrassing post before more folks publicly laugh at him. Good luck!

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Mentioned in this article:

TD Ameritrade
Asset Custodian
Top Executive: Tom Nally



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