RealTime IT News

Ameritrade Pitches to the Pros

Hot on the heels of its planned $1.29 billion acquisition of Datek Online Holdings, Omaha, Nebr.-based Ameritrade Holding Corp., now the largest online brokerage, is creating a new trading platform for institutional clients.

The company said the new services platform, to be called the Ameritrade Connection, will bundle Ameritrade's trading platform, customizable products and services, and dedicated client support teams for Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and Independent Broker/Dealers (IBDs).

"The Ameritrade Connection is focused on the needs facing our institutional partners, RIA and IBD clients, who want to utilize tools and services that attract and better serve their individual investors," said Vince Passione, president of Ameritrade's Institutional Client Division.

The new service, set to launch at the end of this month, will allow block trading and market open and close orders, and it will let independent broker/dealers and registered investment advisors manage multiple accounts.

Access to intra-day balances and positions, real-time quotes and online order status, more than 900 No Transaction Fee (NTF) mutual funds and stock screening tools will also be available.

Ameritrade's deal for Datek made it the largest online brokerage in terms of daily equity trades. The deal is expected to close within 60 days and the combined firm is expected to have about 164,000 trades per day and over 2.76 million accounts. It is expected to manage approximately $43 billion in client assets.

However, the online brokerage business is still suffering from investor apathy regarding the beaten down stock market. Last week Ameritrade said its April average daily trading fell 34 percent from a year ago.