TD Waterhouse said Tuesday that it signed a letter of intent to join Redibook, an electronic communications network consortium.
TD Waterhouse, the New York-based discount brokerage arm of Toronto-Dominion Bank, joins four other financial services companies in the consortium. The broker-dealer had been in discussions with Island ECN, another similar group, but failed to reach an agreement. Terms of the transaction with Redibook were not disclosed.
In announcing its investment, the brokerage joins a wave of banks, retail broker-dealers, and equity market makers par-ticipating in the so-called ECNs, which match buy and sell orders and facilitate trading after the stock market closes.
Frank J. Petrilli, president and chief operating office at TD Waterhouse, said the deal would enable the firm to offer after-hours trading in the United States, beginning next month. TD Waterhouse would initially offer an after-hours session from 4:30 to 7 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, he said.
Though Mr. Petrilli characterized initial interest in extended trading sessions as "very small," he said he anticipates that more people would use the after-hours capability. "I think we're looking at the West Coast," he said, describing TD Waterhouse's targeted market.
He said he is undeterred by reports of a slowdown in the volume of investors trading on-line. "Trade volumes are not at the April peak levels, but the fundamentals for our industry are very good," he said.
In signing up with Redibook, the broker joins Spear, Leeds & Kellogg, Charles Schwab Corp., Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, and Fidelity Investments.