Ricketts: Schwab buying TD Ameritrade creates uncertainty

TD Ameritrade corporate headquarters (Photo by Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)
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November 25, 2019 - 5:15pm

Governor Pete Ricketts said Monday’s announced sale of Omaha-based TD Ameritrade to Charles Schwab creates “significant uncertainty for thousands of Nebraskans.” Creighton economist Ernie Goss says there will be job losses, but it could be worse.


Shortly after the sale was announced, Ricketts, who once served as chief operating officer for Ameritrade, issued a statement that he’s “anxious to see” what the decision means for the people of Nebraska.

Ricketts father, Joe Ricketts, founded Ameritrade in 1975 as an alternative to traditional Wall Street brokerages. He retired in 2011 having made billions from the business.  Monday’s transaction was valued at about $26 billion. In a news release last year, the Nebraska Republican Party said the Ricketts family holds a combined roughly 10 percent of the company’s shares.

In his statement, Pete Ricketts said “In the coming days, I will work to personally make the case to Schwab to stay committed to Omaha.”

About 2,300 people work for TD Ameritrade in Omaha. Ernie Goss, an economist at Creighton, said he expects some job losses.

“I would expect the job losses for Omaha and Nebraska to be less than for San Francisco and for California. But there will be job losses, and unfortunately some of those job losses will be on the higher paying end,” Goss said.

Schwab, founded in San Francisco, says the integration of the two companies will take between 18 and 36 months. It will eventually relocate the corporate headquarters for the combined company to the Dallas area.

Goss says the lost jobs will have a ripple effect on Omaha. “Unfortunately you’re losing the headquarters and that means something in terms of charitable giving, serving on boards in the Omaha area, and that’s a fairly significant loss as well,” he said.

Goss also said he expects a change to the name of TD Ameritrade Park, home of the College World Series. “I know that may sound trivial but that’s a part of the fabric of Omaha and I don’t think it will keep that name, nor will it become Schwab Park – there will be another corporate citizen that will step up for Omaha and step up for Nebraska,” he said.

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