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.

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