Michael Papedis, Managing Partner of Fusion Financial Partners, raises the prospect that the deal could get “hung up” with antitrust questions.

Fusion is an independent consulting firm to breakaway advisors and RIAs.

In an emailed comment to FA-IQ, Papedis writes that the newly merged company “would represent nearly half of RIA custody assets and serve around 9,000 advisors — an industry goliath.”

But Papedis says TD Ameritrade “likely had little choice in the war-of-attrition new world, as they were more reliant on trading commissions than Schwab to drive revenue. No doubt they needed to look at merger options to make margins meet.”

For financial advisors, the deal will be “interesting,” Papedis says. “The combined firm will lay claim to dominating the market’s relationships — in numbers at least — from the smallest advisors to the industry’s largest.”

Papedis adds: “I have seen a new Schwab recently. They have been puffing out their chests for a while about their vision and position as the premier industry giant. Coming off the heels of an impressive Impact conference earlier this month where they touted their leadership as the driving force of the zero-commission game, this potential merger with TD Ameritrade is in lockstep with that confident attitude.”

Papedis concludes: “This merger will force the remaining custodians to further hone their services and points of differentiation to stay competitive, which is ultimately a good thing for the industry, advisors and end clients — no matter what RIA custodian in chosen.”

As reported by Financial Advisor IQ – full article can be found here.

Updated article was posted on November 25, 2019 by Financial Advisor IQ here.