Ameriprise Adds 99 Experienced FAs in Q3, Client Assets Up 9% YoY

By Alex Padalka October 29, 2020

Ameriprise says it added close to 100 experienced financial advisors and saw healthy wrap account flows during the third quarter, but that wasn’t enough to bring its earnings in line with last year’s results.

The company says 99 experienced advisors joined the firm in the third quarter, which was a three-year record, according to Ameriprise’s third-quarter earnings results.

But the net gain for the quarter was just 11 advisors, as Ameriprise ended the quarter with 9,905 advisors, the company says, compared to 9,894 it had at the end of the second quarter. And advisor ranks remain lower year-over-year: at the end of the third quarter of 2019, Ameriprise had 9,930 advisors, according to the earnings report for that quarter.

Adjusted operating net revenue per advisor, meanwhile, was $668,000 in the third quarter, which is down from $669,000 reported in the second but still represents a 3% increase year-over-year, Ameriprise says. Total client assets in the advice and wealth management segment, meanwhile, continued climbing: the firm ended the latest quarter with $667 billion, up from $630 billion it had at the end of the prior quarter, as well as 9% higher year-over-year, according to the report.

Ameriprise saw $5.2 billion in wrap account flows during the third quarter, up from $4.9 billion from the prior quarter, the company says. And client cash balances stood at $39.4 billion at the end of September, which was up from $31.1 billion they held in cash by the end of the second quarter and up from $31.8 billion held in cash by the end of the third quarter 2019, according to the report. Ameriprise says the high cash balances represent “a substantial opportunity for clients to put cash back to work in the future.”

Adjusted operating net revenues in the advice and wealth management segment totaled $1.67 billion in the third quarter, up from $1.54 billion in the prior quarter but down 1% year-over-year, according to the report. Total expenses, meanwhile, were $1.3 billion in the latest quarter, up slightly from the $1.27 billion from the second quarter of 2020 and $1.29 billion in the third quarter of 2019, Ameriprise says.

Pretax adjusted operating earnings in the segment, however, reached $320 million in the third quarter, which, while up from the $271 million posted in the prior quarter, were still 19% lower year-over-year, according to the company. Ameriprise attributes the drop primarily to “$116 million of lower revenue from the reduction in interest rates, primarily the Federal Funds effective rate,” and adds that it was offset by strong wrap net inflows as well as continued expense management.

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