Press Room

TradeKing and Zecco Announce Agreement to Merge

Online Brokerage Innovators Join Forces to Challenge Mega Firm Mentality, Champion the Cause of Independent Investors

May 15, 2012

FT. LAUDERDALE and SAN FRANCISCO — May 15, 2012 – 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.”

Watch video message from both CEOs: http://youtu.be/KlgBj6-_nEI

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/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.

About TradeKing  

TradeKing (www.tradeking.com) is a nationally licensed online stock and options broker offering simple, low cost online trading fees.1 A pioneer in integrating new financial social media as part of its innovative online equities, options trading and fixed-income trading platform, TradeKing has received multiple discount broker awards from top industry sources and was rated best in customer service by SmartMoney2 Magazine for the third consecutive year. (June 2012 SmartMoney Broker Survey).  

About Zecco

Zecco Trading is an online stock brokerage that offers low cost stock trades and low cost options trades3. With low commission rates, tons of free research and tools, and spectacular customer service, Zecco is quite possibly the best value in stock and options trading. Learn more about Zecco at www.zecco.com.


Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. For more information, please review the Characteristics and Risks of Standard Options brochure before you begin trading options. Options investors may lose the entire amount of their investment in a relatively short period of time.

TradeKing and Zecco provide self-directed investors with discount brokerage services through their FINRA-registered subsidiaries, and do not make recommendations or offer investment, financial, legal or tax advice. The content of this press release is provided for educational and informational purposes only, does not constitute a recommendation to enter in any of the securities transactions or to engage in any of the investment strategies presented herein, and does not represent the opinions of TradeKing, Zecco or their employees.

Online trading has inherent risks due to system response and access times that vary due to market conditions, system performance and other factors. An investor should understand these and additional risks before trading.

Members FINRA/SIPC.

(1)          $4.95 for equity and option trades, add 65 cents per option contract. TradeKing charges an additional $0.35 per contract on certain index products where the exchange charges fees. TradeKing adds $0.01 per share on the entire order for stocks priced less than $2.00. See our Commissions + Fees page at www.tradeking.com/fees for details on commissions on low-priced stocks, option spreads, and other securities.

(2)          TradeKing was ranked #1 in Customer Service in the SmartMoney June 2011 Broker Survey based on the following categories: Commissions and Fees, Mutual Funds & Investment Products, Banking Services, Trading Tools, Research, and Customer Service. SmartMoney is a registered trademark of SmartMoney, a joint publishing venture between Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and Hearst Partnership. Supporting documentation for any claims, comparison, statistics, or other technical data, will be supplied upon request by calling 877-495-5464 or via email at service@tradeking.com.
  

(3)          Zecco Trading is an online stock brokerage that offers low cost stock trades and options trades. We are a discount stock broker and charge only $4.95 per online stock or ETF trade – 30 to 50% less than other top brokerage firms. Options trades are only $4.95 each plus $0.65 per contract.  For more details, margin rates, online commissions for stocks and ETFs priced under $1 and other charges, please visit pricing and fees.



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