In March, CI’s Brokerage team published an Industry Spotlight Report that detailed some of the biggest recent acquisitions and mergers within the brokerage industry. The report highlighted seven firm transactions, identifying various factors including communications related to the transaction and the implementation of new features and capabilities. As a preview of this recent report, this Insights post will recap two impactful acquisitions that have taken place in the past few years and discuss how those transactions strengthened firm capabilities.

Charles Schwab Acquires TD Ameritrade

In October 2020, Charles Schwab completed its acquisition of TD Ameritrade, aiming to bring in new clients and strengthen relationships with existing clients by combining both firms’ award-winning investment platforms. Both firms employed various communication methods to clients throughout the process, as the acquisition required TD Ameritrade clients to completely migrate their accounts to Charles Schwab. Importantly, the acquisition also brought many new features and capabilities to the already highly regarded Charles Schwab platform.

Some TD Ameritrade features and capabilities that enhanced Charles Schwab’s platform, which are explored in the report, include:

  • The thinkorswim desktop trading platform
  • An investor behavior index
  • Advanced order types

Another feature that enhanced Charles Schwab clients’ everyday trading capabilities includes the implementation of TD Ameritrade’s SnapTicket. In May 2023, two and a half years after the completed acquisition, Charles Schwab began implementing the SnapTicket—a universal trade ticket that enables clients to place quick trades from various secure site pages. The SnapTicket appears across many secure site pages as a right-side slideout, allowing clients to easily trade stocks, ETFs, options and mutual funds without having to navigate to a designated trading page. The SnapTicket also features helpful tools, like streaming quote data and a share number calculator.

Charles Schwab Secure Site SnapTicket

Charles Schwab’s integration of TD Ameritrade’s SnapTicket feature exemplifies the enhancement of secure site capabilities through firm acquisitions. With this integration, clients can swiftly execute trades while simultaneously viewing research and positions data. The SnapTicket’s minimally obstructive design enables clients to view ample information on the underlying page, contributing to a more streamlined trading experience.

Empower acquires Personal Capital

In August 2020, Empower announced its acquisition of Personal Capital—in which the firm became a wholly owned subsidiary of Empower—aiming to provide clients with a 360-degree financial picture. Since the acquisition, Empower has since used Personal Capital’s wealth tools to provide a Personal Dashboard that features net worth, savings, retirement and investment data all in one place.

The Personal Dashboard, which is covered in more detail in the report, features various linked tiles that house visually appealing displays of aggregated account information including, but not limited to, the following data:

  • Projection
  • Cash Flow
  • Emergency Fund

Each linked tile leads to a corresponding page, enabling clients to view more in-depth coverage of the information. For example, the Net Worth page features a full net worth area chart that spans the life of the account. Below, Account, Type and Balance data points appear for various types of aggregated accounts, providing clients with an all-encompassing financial overview that allows for increased awareness and control over finances.

Empower Secure Site Dashboard Page


Empower Secure Site Net Worth Page

Explore our Insights page for more research on trends in brokerage and other industries. And to learn more about how CI’s subscription services can help your organization enhance its digital experience, check out our Online Brokerage Research Services page.