TradeKing + Zecco = Progress!
I’m super-pleased to tell you all: TradeKing’s intended merger with Zecco has officially closed. That’s one big hurdle, cleared! (Check out our joint press release here.)
Still, it is important to note that for the immediate future everything about your trading experience stays the same.
What are we working on right now then? Well, the next important step is our application to FINRA (our industry regulator) to merge the two broker/dealer entities into one firm, for which we expect approval within the next few months.
As that approval happens, in a few months we will start combining the best product features and customer service attributes of both firms to make up a new and unified trading experience operating under one name: TradeKing.
Why TradeKing? There were several reasons, but I’ll cite these as our top two:
1. Both firms have built up great brand equity, so we ruled out the idea of an entirely new name early on. Not to devalue the importance of corporate branding, but renaming exercises tend to be expensive, time-consuming affairs. We’d much rather invest in building a better brokerage and product set for you than spend lots of time and money mulling the name.
2. Of course, Zecco also has a great ring to it and has built up lots of customer love over the years. But the name was originally a shortened version of “zero commissions,” and that meaning is no longer relevant to either firm. Logically, that made TradeKing the best alternative.
That said, we know a brand consists of much more than the company name.
A brand is expressed in logos, site design, taglines, advertising. More importantly, the values and personality of a brand shine through in the company’s choices, tone of voice, the service reps you interact with, the online community – really, in everything the company says or does.
Zecco has invested wisely and well in many brand attributes that attracted us as merger partners, not to mention attracting hundreds of thousands of loyal Zecco customers. So even though the name on the new “store” will be TradeKing, we’re confident you’ll recognize many stellar brand attributes Zecco brings to the mix in our combined firm.
What’s next as we integrate?
As we secure FINRA approval for the broker/dealer integration the two firms will start to merge in ways you, as our customer, will start to notice. We will communicate the changes and new offerings to you as we go.
In the meantime, we’re diving into integration planning, big-time. Since we announced the merger news, we’ve been gathering customer feedback on both sides to make sure we start integration efforts with YOUR priorities in mind. (Speak your mind in the comments below, or add your voice to the merger forum thread.)
One theme we’re hearing is about reconciling our fees and commissions. We’ve already decided to stick with $4.95 per stock and options trade plus 65c per options contract. We’re looking closely at smaller gaps in our fee schedule and making decisions that factor your input in. Details on that front should be coming quickly in subsequent merger updates.
Meet Mike Raneri, TradeKing Group’s Vice Chairman and Head of Corp. Development
Now that we’re allowed to start operating in tandem, I want you to meet Mike Raneri, formerly Zecco’s CEO and now TradeKing Group’s Vice Chairman and Head of Corporate Development. As I explained earlier, Mike and I go way back as middle-school buddies and have stayed in touch into our adult careers. I’m a huge supporter of how Mike approaches our industry. His sensibility and expertise bring tremendous new strength to our executive bench.
Mike has been actively blogging through the Zecco CEO Blog, and I expect he’ll keep blogging here and at Zecco with news and updates in his new role. Watch our Trader Network homepage for his debut! He’ll have a lot to contribute to the team, and I know he’ll want your input along the way.
That’s it for now. For ongoing updates on the latest merger news:
· Check out these Frequently Asked Questions – we’ll be updating these as details emerge
· Get your questions answered in our merger forum post
· Contact us with any additional questions specific to you or your account
TradeKing Bigdog, Chairman and CEO
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Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. For more information, please review the Characteristics and Risks of Standard Options brochure available at http://www.tradeking.com/ODD before you begin trading options. Options investors may lose the entire amount of their investment in a relatively short period of time.
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