(Photo: Bloomberg)

Ameriprise Financial has been on a recruiting tear in early 2020 with a string of announcements.

The latest hires come as the broker-dealer announced that it ended 2019 with 9,871 advisors, down 60 from a year ago and 59 from Sept. 30. Still, its total client assets figure rose nearly 20% to $643 billion. 

About two-thirds of its advisors are independent, with the rest working as employees. Their average yearly fees and commissions were $664,000 as of Q4’19 vs. $624,000 in Q4’18.   

The father-son team of Norman and Michael Robbins just moved to Ameriprise’s employee channel from Cetera Advisor Networks in Boca Raton, Florida, where they work with about $234 million in assets. They spent the past four months at Cetera and the prior 16 years with Summit Brokerage Services, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.

Norman has 38 years in the business and started his career at RLR Securities Group. Michael began his 27-year tenure at J.W. Charles Securities, where his father worked at the time.

“Our [new] branch manager and the rest of the onboarding team delivered on all their promises, which was really refreshing, and made it easier for us stay focused on our clients during the transition,” Michael said in a statement.

Other Recruits

Two teams with $257 million in total assets recently moved to Ameriprise’s franchise channel. 

Coming over from LPL Financial is the Flatiron Financial Group (with $150 million) of Bedford and Lincoln, New Hampshire, led by Rob Normandin Jr., and Troy Neily — both of whom have over 20 years in the business and spent the past 13 with LPL; the group includes advisors Robin Morrell and Sean Smalley.

Separately, Don DeJonge joined in Visalia, California, with $107 million, along with client service associate Shirah Hopper. DeJonge has 12 years of industry experience, including the past five with MML Investors Services

“We were searching for more resources to manage the wealth of our diverse client base today and into the future,” according to Neily. “The online goal-tracking features at Ameriprise allows clients to quickly and easily see the progress they’re making against their goals, which ultimately helps them see the value we provide as advisors.”

A Family BD’s Move

Independent broker-dealer Morton Seidel, which has been in business in the Los Angeles area for some 95 years and works with $177 million in assets, has moved to Ameriprise’s franchise channel in Beverly Hills, California.

The team is led by veteran advisor Joan Seidel (49 years in the business) and husband Arnold Seidel (70 years as an advisor) — whose father founded the IBD in 1925; daughter-in-law and paraplanner Gina Seidel also made the move.

The Seidels are now part of an office headed by advisor Alan Tarko. The team rebranded under the combined name Morton Seidel Century City Advisor Group.

“I chose Ameriprise because the firm and its people are known in the marketplace for serving clients with integrity. People in leadership, at the home office … are respectful of our longstanding history, and are committed to helping our clients reach their goals,” Joan Seidel said in a statement.

Many of the Seidel team’s clients are children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of their broker-dealer’s original clients. “We’ve helped multiple generations of families prepare for retirement, manage inheritances and weather market events,” she said.

(Also on the combined team are advisors Robert Marmor, Philip Decallejon, Moshe Goldstein and Steven Domokos.)

In the latest quarter, Ameriprise saw its revenues grow 3% year over year to $3.3 billion. But net income fell 14% from Q4’18 to $539 million, and earnings per share weakened 6% to $3.76. 

The Advice & Wealth Management unit expanded its total revenues 8% from a year ago to $1.74 billion. Pretax operating earnings rose 5% to $387 million. 

LPL Adds 2 in Wisconsin

Ameriprise did recently lose two advisors to LPL Financial in Northeast Wisconsin: Cody Mares, a certified financial planner, and Sam Sigler, CFP, of Elluvium Financial, who work with about $130 million in brokerage, advisory and retirement plan assets.

Mares worked with Ameriprise from 1995 to 2020, according to his BrokerCheck record, and also worked with IDS Life Insurance for several years — as did Sigler, who mainly was with Ameriprise and American Express from 1994 to 2020. The advisors began working together in 1997.

They work primarily with families and individuals near or in retirement. “Our clients’ success is the driving force that motivates and inspires us every day,” Sigler said in a statement. “Being a financial advisor – you become a trusted member of a family, and we take that position very seriously.”

Joining Mares and Sigler in the practice, based in Appleton, are associate financial advisor Brent Mares, CFP and Cody’s son, and operations manager Wendy Obserstadt. 

“With LPL, we can brand ourselves and run our business as we want, knowing that behind the scenes we have support from the largest independent broker-dealer in the country,” according to Mares.

Also in January, LPL recruited seven advisors from SagePoint Financial, part of the Advisor Group network of broker-dealers, and one from Ameriprise

The registered reps — who work with a total of $260 million in client assets — are aligned with Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ) manager and advisor Mike Sisco of Paradigm Wealth Partners in Des Moines, Iowa.

The advisors moving to LPL from SagePoint are Sandra Larson, Steven Larson, Casey Larson, David Scott, Michael Lynch and Timothy Frey; Rick Yoder joined LPL from Ameriprise. All eight FAs work in the Midwest and Texas. 

“We’ve created a really wonderful collection of financial advisors who share a common goal of helping others accomplish their financial goals in an ethical, honest and empathetic way,” according to Sisco.