TradeKing’s Merger with Zecco
We have big, exciting news to share today: TradeKing and Zecco have agreed to merge businesses. It’s a move we firmly believe will offer you great benefits, both in the near- and long-term.
Combining forces with Zecco makes sense on several levels. Zecco and TradeKing opened our doors around the same time, levying a very similar challenge to “mega brokers”: why not give investors a better deal, with fair, easy-to-understand pricing for everyone? As each firm evolved, other overlaps emerged. We both emphasize innovative technology. We both recognized early the value of social media for investors and traders, building vibrant online communities where traders can connect with each other.
When Mike Raneri became CEO of Zecco in 2009, the synergies started to seem downright uncanny. As it happens, Mike and I have known each other for years: we first met at Rochambeau Middle School in Southbury, CT and were best buddies in high school at Southbury’s Pomperaug High School. When I headed to the Midwest after high school, we stayed great friends, even from a distance. Our paths intersected again in our post-college years: when I was struggling through law school, not at all certain I’d picked the right career path, Mike stepped in with some well-timed advice: why not join his employer, Quick & Reilly, as a broker trainee? I did, and the rest is history. (I recapped this whole career twist in a previous blog post.)
When Mike took the reins at Zecco, I saw his imprint immediately on the firm – and I liked what I saw. Mike and I not only shared history as friends, we also see eye-to-eye on what a great online brokerage looks and acts like. We both believe in old-fashioned customer service, where we treat each client the way we ourselves like to be serviced: with transparency, dignity and accountability. When we first broached the subject of merging, our vision of the road ahead was also similar: to challenge the mega-brands even more, we’d need to take a quantum leap in size and scale.
We all know the obfuscating corporate-speak brokerages use in discussing mergers – so let me talk plainly about the benefits of this one. Our cultures, philosophy and client profile are already complementary. Our central price point is now identical (and will stay the same post-merger): $4.95 per trade plus 65c per contract. Each of us bring near-term product upgrades the other currently lacks: by merging, TradeKing clients will quickly gain access to Zecco’s forex trading platform, for instance, a superior iPhone trading app and, finally, a great Android app. In turn, we’ll offer Zecco clients access to our top-rated tools for options traders, a fixed income platform, fantastic trader education and award-winning customer service.
You’ll keep the same tools, products, pricing and service that attracted you to TradeKing in the first place. But you’ll gain quite a bit more. The merger will advance our product offering for both client bases. It should also give us the scale to command even better pricing from our vendors and more attention from our clearing firm – savings that we can pass along to our clients and/or invest in further platform upgrades.
At the same time, we’re staying true to our roots. I’ve said many times before: active traders need to be attracted, not acquired like cattle. We know we need to earn your business every day, and the same holds true for Zecco clients. We need to hit the ground running from day one: with a great combined offering in the short term, and a host of exciting future opportunities in the long run.
This is a game-changer, but we’re up for the challenge. We wanted to remake the online brokerage industry along fundamentally different lines – and now we’re at the next phase. Our next challenge is to deliver real additional value fast and seamlessly to all our combined clients, and to grow in ways that only brighten our winning spark.
Can we school the mega-brokers in delivering better service, better pricing, a better product, with real community and transparency – all while scaling up intelligently, in ways advantageous to everyone? We think so.
Here’s where you can learn more about the merger:
• Watch this video of me and Zecco's CEO
• Check out these Frequently Asked Questions – we’ll be updating these frequently as details emerge
• Get your questions answered in our merger forum post
• Contact us with any additional questions specific to you or your account
I’d love to hear from you directly on this historic move for our firm. What product improvements do you want us to prioritize as we move forward? What are your biggest concerns? Any advice on how we should handle the merger? Good, bad or otherwise, please share your thoughts in the comments below. Two-way communications with our clients have helped us tremendously to shape TradeKing in meeting your needs – and hopefully exceeding your expectations. I look forward to your input.