It's no surprise that Ameriprise Financial is a leading provider of financial advice. The company offers financial planning, products, and services to individual and institutional investors. Through Ameriprise Financial, Columbia Management, RiverSource, and other affiliates and brands, the company provides access to insurance, mutual funds, savings plans, personal trust services, retail brokerage, and other financial products and services. Its Ameriprise Bank subsidiary offers deposits and loans. Ameriprise, which has about $630 billion of assets under management, distributes its products primarily through a network of more than 9,700 financial advisors.
The company has been sharpening its focus on its branded adviser network. It sold its Securities America independent broker-dealer subsidiary to Ladenburg Thalmann for some $150 million in 2011. Shortly before the sale of the troubled unit, Ameriprise agreed to pay $160 million to settle claims that Securities America brokers sold securities in fraudulent companies.
Ameriprise has been steadily boosting its assets under management and growing its client base (focusing on the affluent and mass affluent with at least $100,000 in investable assets). The company also is focused on geographic areas where those clients are congregated and has closed or consolidated offices in areas with less potential. While Columbia Management covers Ameriprise's main asset management market in the US, the company is increasing its global presence through its Threadneedle brand overseas. Ameriprise plans to grow its asset management operations in Europe, as well as in Australia, the Middle East, and Asia.
Ameriprise's strategies have paid off. Volatile financial market conditions, which negatively impacted all of the company's operations, led to a decline in revenue in 2008 and 2009. However, the company returned to success in 2010 and revenues grew by more than 20% that year. Poor economic conditions continued in 2011. However, Ameriprise's operating net revenues climbed that year by about 10%. The boost was due to strong growth in the company's fee-based advisory and asset management businesses.
Ameriprise Financial, which was founded in 1894, was spun off from American Express in 2005. – less