Schwab Leads in Assets, TD Ameritrade in Breakaways

Schwab Leads in Assets, TD Ameritrade in Breakaways

Charles Schwab continued to dominate the market for advisor assets last quarter, but TD Ameritrade reported stronger recruiting of breakaway brokers, as the two firms announced quarterly earnings results today.

Schwab said its Advisor Services unit had net new assets of $9.9 billion, down 7 percent year over year. Schwab’s platform that serves registered investment advisors still accounted for more than 60 percent of the $16 billion in total net new assets last quarter.

Total assets at Schwab Advisor Services were up 4 percent year over year, to $727.6 billion. Total assets companywide reached $1.8 trillion, up 9 percent.

Comparing Schwab’s asset performance with TD Ameritrade is imprecise, since the latter doesn’t specifically break out the contribution of its advisor unit, TD Ameritrade Institutional. Chief Executive Fred Tomczyk has said that Institutional accounts for 50 to 60 percent of net new assets, and 35 to 40 percent of total assets.

TD said it saw net new assets of $9.7 billion last quarter, up 23 percent year over year, and total client assets of $445 billion. Using Tomczyk’s estimates, that would place Institutional’s share of net new assets at $4.9 to $5.8 billion, and its share of total assets at $155.8 billion to $178 billion.

TD Ameritrade said it set a new high for breakaway broker recruitment—120 teams, an increase of nearly 50 percent year over year. The custodian said 324 brokers have joined year to date, an increase of 23 percent from the previous year. The firm doesn’t release asset figures for the breakaways.

Peter Dorsey, managing director of sales at Institutional, said the advisors were leaving a range of channels, such as wirehouses and independent broker dealers. The chief driver of movement was client demand, he said; investors wanted their advisors to be free of conflicts in service and product offerings that occur in the brokerage market.

Concerns about regulation also contributed to advisor movement, Dorsey added.

Schwab spokeswoman Lindsay Tiles said the company recruited 33 teams last quarter and 41 in the first quarter, representing close to $4 billion in assets combined. The figure is a little lower than last year, “but the pipeline is very strong,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Teams from wirehouses made up 45 percent of the recruitment, with a “strong” showing from the IBD channel, Tiles said.

So-called “tuck-ins”—when advisors leave a firm to join another rather than start their own practice—also appeared popular. About 40 percent of Schwab breakaways transitioned to an existing RIA, while TD Ameritrade said 27 percent of breakaways last quarter joined an RIA.

Schwab reported net income of $275 million, or 20 cents a share, on net revenue of $1.28 billion for the quarter. A year earlier, it had net income of $238 million, or 20 cents a share, on net revenue of $1.19 billion.

Schwab will hold its quarterly business update on July 25.

TD Ameritrade reported net income of $154 million, or 28 cents a share, on net revenue of $667 million for the quarter. A year earlier, it had net income of $157 million, or 27 cents a share, on net revenue of $685 million.

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