Ameriprise total assets hit record $1.4 trillion in Q4

Ameriprise Financial Inc. Wednesday announced record client inflows in the fourth quarter, which propelled assets at the financial services company to an all-time high of $1.4 trillion.

The surge in assets was due in large part to Ameriprise’s acquisition of BMO Financial Group Inc., which closed in November. The wealth and asset management segment increased its flows to over $40 billion in the quarter, including $15 billion primarily from U.S. transfers from BMO in North America in December.

Bank of Montreal agreed to sell its Europe, Middle East and Africa asset management unit to Ameriprise for $847 million in April as the bank looked to trim its noncore businesses. The sale also included moving some U.S. clients to Ameriprise’s Columbia Threadneedle Investments unit.

“This significant organic growth was complemented by strategic actions,” CEO Jim Cracchiolo said in a statement, “including our acquisition of BMO EMEA. In the quarter, we drove more than $40 billion in client net inflows.”

As for wealth management, growth across the adviser network reflected new client acquisitions and deeper relationships with existing clients, as well as recruiting experienced advisers, according to Ameriprise.

The wealth and asset management segments generated 80% of adjusted operating earnings for the year, according to the company, helped by strong results in the insurance and annuity businesses. Total managed assets grew 17% to $858 billion in the fourth quarter. 

“Ameriprise delivered another very strong quarter, and a record year for client flows, assets and financial results,” Cracchiolo said.

Client flows reached a new high of $12.5 billion in the quarter, with a 17% increase in wrap account assets alone. The $10.5 billion in wrap flows represented the fifth consecutive quarter with flows at or above $9 billion.

“Ameriprise is well positioned to continue navigating the current environment successfully, and rising interest rates would be another positive,” Cracchiolo said. “We remain focused on serving our clients well and are energized about the opportunity before us.”

Ameriprise stock soared in early trading Thursday on the earnings announcement, and was up 14% by midday. The shares have gained about 9% since the beginning of the year versus the S&P 500’s decline of 8.6%.

Although the number of financial advisers is steadily decreasing industrywide, the number of wealth managers at Ameriprise ticked up 2% to 10,116, including the addition of 86 experienced advisers in the quarter.

Revenue per adviser topped $796,000 on a trailing 12-month basis.

“There are people out there that have been buying up networks and growing in advisers, and it doesn’t matter what their productivity level is, and it doesn’t matter how they want to do business,” Cracchiolo said in a follow-up earnings call with analysts. “We don’t want to play that game.”

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Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.

Andrew Vincent
Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He's also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.
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