TradeKing and Zecco, the industry's first two socially-enabled online brokerages, announced today they have agreed to merge their businesses.
This merger creates a compelling alternative in the marketplace for independent investors, one with scale and resources to compete, but with the mission to challenge traditional offerings and client experiences to deliver outstanding value for online investors. Financial terms of the merger were not disclosed.
"TradeKing and Zecco share a similar mission, applying pressure on the industry to give the individual investor a far better trading experience and a far greater value," said Don Montanaro, CEO of TradeKing. "By merging, we have an opportunity to ratchet up our ability to influence the direction of the online brokerage industry. We believe this is great news for clients of both firms and investors as a whole."
The new merged firm would have a combined client base of approximately 500,000 accounts with several billion dollars in client assets.
Commenting on the agreement, Michael Raneri, CEO of Zecco, said, "We believe the market is ready for a new player that doesn't sound, act or think like all the other firms, but with the size and resources to go head-to-head with the major players. We are now positioned to be the challenger brand we believe investors are seeking."
Why Is this Good for Clients? More Capabilities at the Same Low $4.95 Price
For clients of both firms, the merger will offer them all the capabilities they already enjoy, plus much more. After the merger, clients will enjoy a high-performing trading platform with the best tools and social community features from both firms at the same current low price offered by each of $4.95/trade. In addition, TradeKing clients will gain access to great Zecco capabilities such as forex trading and highly-rated mobile trading apps for both iPhone and Android. Zecco clients will gain access to TradeKing's top-ranked options trading tools, comprehensive educational offerings and award-winning customer service.
Additional information can be found on the TradeKing website at www.tradeking.com/mergeking.com/merger and the Zecco Website in the Zecco CEO Blog http://ceoblog.zecco.com/2012/05/doubling-up-zecco-and-tradeking-are-merging and Zecco and TradeKing Merger FAQs https://www.zecco.com/c/zecco-tradeking-merger-questions.aspx.
A History of Innovation
Since the firms' inceptions (TradeKing in December of 2005 and Zecco in July of 2006), both brands have stood for delivering low prices, great transparency, powerful social integration and leading-edge innovation, while, above all, putting the customer first. Their combined industry achievements include:
In 2005, introduced flat pricing under $5/trade with no account minimums or hidden fees
First to integrate social networking technologies in the online trading environment
First brokerage firm CEOs to blog
First to let clients publicly share verified trades in a social networking environment
First to let clients place stock trades from Facebook
First to let clients place stock trades from anywhere on the Web
Ranked #1 in customer service for three years in a row in SmartMoney magazine's broker rankings (2010, 2011, 2012)
Who Were the Advisors?
Cooley LLP served as legal advisor to TradeKing. Raymond James Financial served as M&A advisor and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP as legal advisor to Zecco.