Detroit-based Ally Financial announced Tuesday plans to acquire Florida online broker TradeKing Group – a move that puts Ally in the wealth-management business and adds roughly 100 people to its Charlotte-area workforce.
The parent company of online-based Ally Bank said the $275 million purchase of the Fort Lauderdale company will bring Ally to more than 900 total employees in Charlotte. Ally said TradeKing’s approximately 180 employees, including about 105 in Charlotte, will join Ally following the closing of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval.
Charlotte already serves as a major employment base for Ally, whose other two corporate centers are in Detroit and New York. Ally’s CEO, as well as some of the company’s other top executives, sit in Charlotte, including the CEO of Ally Bank.
The TradeKing purchase follows Ally’s announcement earlier this year of plans for the bank to start offering credit card and mortgage products. Those moves come as CEO Jeffrey Brown, who was promoted to his position last year, forges ahead with a strategy of doing more business with Ally’s existing customers.
“The addition of wealth management is the next key step in Ally’s digital product evolution,” Brown said in a statement. Brown described the deal as “a logical growth opportunity.”
Last year, Ally Financial posted net income of $1.3 billion, up 12 percent from the year before. But Brown remains under pressure to boost the performance of the company’s stock, which debuted at $25 in an initial public offering in April 2014.
Shares closed at $17.50 Tuesday, down about 4 percent.
Brown said the TradeKing purchase will benefit Ally in a variety of ways, including through additional deposit growth and diversifying revenue streams by adding fee-based income, “all of which we believe will enhance shareholder value over time.”
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.