Ameriprise Gains Advisors, Boosts Assets

The broker-dealer now has more than 9,810 reps and nearly $345 billion in total AUM

Ameriprise Financial (AMP) reported third-quarter 2012 net income from continuing operations of $174 million, or $0.79 per share, compared with $322 million, or $1.33 per share, a year ago, the company said late Wednesday. Third-quarter  operating earnings were $289 million, or $1.32 per diluted share, compared with $289 million, or $1.19 per diluted share, a year ago.

These results beat analysts’ estimates of operating earnings of $1.19 per share for the most-recent quarter.

According to the company, third-quarter operating results included a $48 million, or $0.22 per share, “unfavorable impact” from the company’s annual review of insurance and annuity valuation assumptions and modeling changes (so-called unlocking).

Third-quarter operating net revenues of $2.5 billion were unchanged from a year ago and included lower revenues from the impact of unlocking, the company says. Analysts had estimated that sales would total $2.65 billion in the third quarter.

After adjustments, operating net revenues for the quarter grew 3%, according to the company, “driven by strong Ameriprise advisor client net inflows and market appreciation.”

“We had another good quarter, led by solid results in our advisory and asset management businesses,” said Jim Cracchiolo (left), chairman and CEO, in a press release. “While equity markets improved in the quarter, low interest rates continue to create headwinds.”

Advisor Business

“Our advisory client base grew nicely in the quarter," Cracchiolo said. “We experienced strong retail client net inflows, including more than doubling net inflows into wrap accounts.”

Ameriprise advisor client assets grew 18% from a year ago and 4% from the second quarter to $345 billion.

Wrap assets grew 24% year over year to $121 billion, as wrap net inflows in the quarter more than doubled to $2.1 billion compared with the prior year. In the previous quarter, however, wrap inflows were $2.63 billion.

The company says it continued to recruit experienced advisors to Ameriprise, adding 106 advisors in the quarter and 314 year to date for a total 9,815 advisors.

Employee advisors number 2,328, while the headcount of franchisee reps is 7,487.

In a recent study, Cogent Research listed Ameriprise as a top-five firm for financial advisors who are likely to move to another broker-dealer.

Also during the third quarter, the company completed its multi-year brokerage IT conversion project.

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