TD Ameritrade CEO sees no deal for E*Trade or Scottrade

Wed Dec 5, 2012 4:26pm EST
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* Low rates curb opportunity to profit from mergers -Tomczyk

* Balance-sheet issues still weigh on E*Trade

* Privately held Scottrade not interested in selling

By Jed Horowitz

NEW YORK, Dec 5 (Reuters) - TD Ameritrade Holding Corp Chief Executive Fred Tomczyk cast cold water this week on recurrent rumors that the discount brokerage is pursuing a deal to buy Scottrade Financial Services or E*Trade Financial Corp.

"There's two obvious ones that people ask me about, but one is privately held. The individual is not interested," Tomczyk said at a Goldman Sachs conference Tuesday when asked about big acquisition opportunities. "The other one still has some balance sheet issues to work through."

Tomczyk did not identify the firms. Analysts, investors and a person close to TD Ameritrade said they were certain that the firms Tomczyk was referring to were Scottrade, whose biggest shareholder remains its founder, Rodger Riney, and E*Trade.

A spokesman at E*Trade declined to comment. A Scottrade spokeswoman did not return calls for comment.

E*Trade, which expanded beyond discount brokerage into selling mortgages and other consumer loans through an online bank more than a decade ago, has suffered years of losses since the financial crisis. In an indirect reference to E*Trade, Tomczyk said its home equity loan book remains problematic.   Continued...