More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIAs failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisors fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients transactions.
- Books and Records Rule Thorough and complete books and records enable RIAs to demonstrate that they have fulfilled their fiduciary obligations to clients and complied with applicable rules and regulations.
Ameriprise Financial said late Wednesday that net income from continuing operations—excluding Securities America—was $313 million, or $1.25 per share, in the second quarter vs. $257 million, or $0.97 per share, a year ago. Revenues for the period were $2.62 billion vs. $2.48 billion a year ago. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.32 or higher on revenue of $2.68 billion.
Operating earnings for the second quarter were $328 million, or $1.31 per share, up 21% from $272 million, or $1.03 per share, a year ago, according the company. Operating net revenues were $2.6 billion in Q2, up 14% from $2.3 billion a year ago “driven by growth in asset-based fees from retail client net inflows, market appreciation and the Columbia Management acquisition,” the firm said in a press release.
"Ameriprise Financial continued to generate strong revenue growth as well as higher earnings and returns in the second quarter," said Chairman and CEO Jim Cracchiolo in a statement. "Our advisory and asset management businesses are generating strong results. Advisor productivity reached another record high, and we're driving good asset flows and client activity.”
On April 25, Ameriprise released its first-quarter earnings and said it planned to sell its Securities America operations, which have been plagued by legal expenses tied to the sale of private placements. It took an after-tax charge of $77 million in Q1 related to these costs.
In its second-quarter earnings release, the company said, “The previously announced sale of Securities America is progressing as anticipated. Securities America is now reported as discontinued operations for second quarter 2011 and for all prior periods.”
In the second quarter, the company said it had a loss of $4 million from discontinuing operations, net of tax, or a loss of $0.02 a share, vs. a gain of $ 2 million from discontinuing operations, or a gain of $0.01 a share, a year ago.
Retail client assets in the advice-and-wealth-management unit grew 20% year-over-year to $319 billion, “reflecting market appreciation and strong retail client net inflows,” according to Ameriprise. Branded wrap assets grew 27% to $106 billion and included net inflows of $2.3 billion in the quarter.
The company says productivity of Ameriprise advisors, measured as operating net revenue per advisor, was $99,000 in the quarter, a 14% year-over-year jump. In the past 12 months, average fees and commissions per rep has averaged $372,000.
On a sequential basis, the number of financial advisors increased slightly to 9,663 from 9,653, “reflecting continued experienced advisor recruiting and strong advisor retention, partially offset by the departure of lowe-producing advisors,” Ameriprise said in a press release.
Ameriprise includes 2,145 employee advisors and 7,517 branded or affiliated independent reps. Average assets per advisor stand at about $33 million.