Careers at Ameriprise
Ameriprise provides a range of financial and investment services with a view to securing and growing the finances of its clients.
Ameriprise organises its operations into five reportable business segments:
- Advice and Wealth Management, which provides financial planning and advisory services, as well as full-service brokerage services, primarily to retail clients through its network of financial advisors.
- Asset Management, which provides investment management and advice, and investment products to retail, high net worth and institutional clients through its Columbia Threadneedle Investments brand launched;
- Annuities, which provides RiverSource-branded variable and fixed annuity products to individual clients;
- Protection, which provides a variety of products designed to address the protection and risk management needs of its retail clients, including life, disability income and property casualty insurance; and
- Corporate and Other, which consists of the Company’s net investment income or loss on corporate level assets.
Ameriprise traces its roots back to the foundation of Investors Syndicate in 1894 by John Tappan. The Company initially attracted around 100 investors, each investing $5, and by 1914 it had reached $1 million in assets. In 1925 the Company was acquired by John Ridgeway, who merged the Company’s operations with his own investment firm.
Investors Syndicate continued to grow throughout the 1920 and 1930s, and by 1937 its assets had reached $100 million. In the 1940s it entered the mutual funds market and changed its name to Investors Diversified Services. The Company was acquired in 1984 by American Express for $780 million, taking on the name American Express Financial Advisors in 1995. The Company continued to expand under the American Express umbrella, making a number of acquisitions, including those of Threadneedle and Dynamic Ideas.
In 2005 American Express Financial Advisors was spun off from American Express, becoming an independent, publicly owned company under the name Ameriprise. The Company’s growth has continued, and it is now among the largest financial and investment advisory companies in the US, with more than $750 in assets under management. Ameriprise is ranked 232nd on the Fortune 500 list and trades shares on the New York Stock Exchange. The Company has a current market capitalisation of $17.95 billion.
Business model of Ameriprise
Ameriprise provides a range of financial and advisory services to a broad spectrum of clients. The Company’s customers can be organised primarily into three categories:
- Individual, comprising high and ultra-high net worth individuals, family offices, and individual investors;
- Retail, comprising various corporate and commercial entities across multiple business sectors, including companies operating in the financial services sector; and
- Institutional, including large financial and banking clients, government and public bodies, and non-profits and charitable organisations.
Ameriprise principally serves customers in its native market of the US. The Company has operations in a number of geographical regions outside of the US through Threadneedle and other subsidiaries, expanding into markets across Continental Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, South America and Africa. The Company’s largest market outside the US is the UK.
Ameriprise provides value to its clients in the following ways:
- Its reputation and industry standing, with the Company established as a reliable provider of high-quality financial products and services;
- Its customer service, with the Company providing tailored services to its clients, with its personnel maintaining close relationships and ongoing communications with its clients, offering personalised advice and guidance;
- Its broad range of products, with the Company offering a broad selection of products and services to its clients, including investment management, financial planning, advisory, brokerage, and annuity services to customers across multiple sectors;
- Its international reach, with the Company serving an extensive customer base across the US, as well operating in markets across Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, South America and Africa; and
- Its expert personnel, with the Company employing an extensive team of financial and investment advisors, as well as an experienced team of industry executives.
Ameriprise operates a website at www.ameriprise.com, through which it provides information on its various products, services, and markets. The Company also operates an online customer portal which allows clients to make money transfers, pay bills, monitor accounts, and send and receive messages. The Company also provides a service through which clients can find financial advisors.
Ameriprise provides financial planning, advice and brokerage services to clients through our nationwide financial advisor network. These finance professionals can affiliate with the Company in two ways, with each affiliation offering different levels of support and compensation, either as an employee of the Company or as an independent contractor.
Ameriprise notably operates dedicated distribution teams that support the Company’s sales, marketing and support operations, which are divided into retail and institutional distribution teams. Ameriprise also has a number of subsidiaries and broker-dealer units that provide various services, including key operating subsidiaries Columbia Management and Threadneedle, as well as institutional and sub-advisory sales teams that market directly to such institutional clients
Ameriprise provides a range of self-service tools and services to its clients through its website and online customer portal. These channels allow customers manage accounts and transactions, transfer funds, pay bills, and send and receive messages without interacting directly with members of the Company’s sales and support personnel.
Ameriprise provides tailored services to its customers, with its numerous employed and independent finance professional working closely with clients to provide services and guidance that is appropriate to their individual needs and circumstances. The Company has dedicated teams that work with its institutional clients, with account management and relationship managers ensuring that its largest clients are well-served at all times. The Company seeks to establish longstanding client relationships.
Ameriprise provides ongoing customer support services to its clients, who are able to access personalised assistance by contacting the Company over the phone or via email. The Company provides a range of online support resources, including FAQs, service forms, and user guides, as well as research and market insights, and financial articles.
Additionally, Ameriprise operates a number of social media accounts – including with Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter – through which clients can follow the Company’s operations and interact with it directly.
Ameriprise operates as a diversified financial services company. It offers a broad range of financial services and products to individual, retail, and institutional clients. The Company aligns its operations into five reportable business segments: Advice and Wealth, Management, which provides financial planning and advice, as well as brokerage services;
Asset Management, which provides investment advice and investment products to retail, high net worth and institutional clients; Annuities, which provides variable and fixed annuity products to individual clients; Protection, which provides a range of products to address the protection and risk management needs of retail clients; and Corporate and Other, comprises net investment income or loss on corporate level assets.
Ameriprise works in conjunction with a range of companies and organisations in order to effectively serve its clients. These partners can be categorised broadly as:
- Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of tools, services, technologies that are utilised across the Company’s operating segments, as well as companies to which the Company is able to outsource non-technical functions;
- Rewards Partners, comprising various commercial partners that work with the Company on its loyalty rewards program;
- Marketing and Alliance Partners, comprising various companies with which the Company collaborate son marketing projects and that generate new clients for the Company’s financial planning and other financial services;
- Channel and Distribution Partners, comprising the Company’s network of financial advisors and other independent professionals that provide services on the Company’s behalf;
- Social and Community Partners, comprising various non-profits and charitable organisations, with which the Company collaborates on various social and community projects around the world.
Ameriprise includes a number of well-known organisations among its community partners, including Feeding America and the American Red Cross. The Company has also recently launched a partnership with Costco as part of its rewards scheme.
Ameriprise’s key resources are its intellectual properties, its IT and communications infrastructure, its network of offices, its network of financial and investment advisors, its partnerships, and its personnel.
Ameriprise relies on a combination of contractual rights and copyright, trademark, patent and trade secret laws to establish and protect its intellectual properties. In the US and other jurisdictions, the Company has registered or filed applications to register certain service marks and brand names that its considers important to the marketing of our its products and services, including Ameriprise Financial, Columbia Management, Threadneedle, RiverSource and Columbia Threadneedle Investments.
Ameriprise also owns and or leases a number of properties, principally comprising office space across the US.
Ameriprise incurs costs in relation to the maintenance of its IT and communications infrastructure, the operation of its offices network, the management of its partnership and independent advisor network, the procurement of professional services, and the retention of its personnel.
In 2015 Ameriprise recorded total expenses in the amount of $10.03 billion. This included distribution expenses totalling $3.28 billion, general and administrative costs totalling $3.08 billion, and benefits, claims, and settlement expenses totalling $2.26 billion.
Ameriprise generates revenue through the provision of various financial and investment services. The Company divides its revenue into four principal categories:
- Management and Financial Advice Fees, including revenue derived from fees earned from managing mutual funds, separate account and wrap account assets and institutional investments, as well as fees earned from providing financial advice, administrative services and other custodial services;
- Distribution Fees, including revenue derived from point-of-sale fees and asset-based fees;
- Net Investment Income, including interest income on fixed maturity securities, classified mortgage loans, policy and certificate loans, and other investments;
- Premiums, including premiums on auto and home insurance, traditional life and health insurance, and immediate annuities; and
- Other Revenues, including variable annuity guaranteed benefit rider charges and fixed and variable universal life insurance charges.
In 2015 Ameriprise generated annual revenue of $12.17 billion for the year, down slightly on the $12.27 billion recorded by the Company in 2014. The largest portion of the Company’s revenue, around $5.95 billion, was derived from the collection of management and financial advice fees.
info: James Cracchiolo (“Cracchiolo”) has served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Ameriprise since 2005, when the Company completed its spin-off from the American Express Company. He oversees the Company’s overall strategic direction. Cracchiolo was previously a long-serving employee of American Express Company, where he held management and leadership roles dating bac to 1990. He held a number of executive-level positions at the company, including spells as Group President of American Express Global Financial Services, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Express Financial Advisors, Chairman of American Express International Bank, and President and Chief Executive Officer at Travel Related Services International.
info: Neal Maglaque (“Maglaque”) has served as President of Advice and Wealth Management Business Development and Chief Operating Officer since 2009, having joined the Company in 2005 as Senior Vice President of Finance. He is responsible for driving strategic growth for the Company’s Advice and Wealth Management segment. Prior to joining Ameriprise, Maglaque held several positions at American Express, including spells as Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning and Business Development, Senior Vice President with responsibility for consumer card and financial services in Germany and Austria, and Vice President of Finance in the consumer card business. Maglaque previously served in a number of roles at Citibank’s card business in New York and Frankfurt.
info: Walter Berman (“Berman”) has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Ameriprise since 2005. He is responsible for overseeing the Company’s financial units, including investor relations, tax, and accounting functions. Berman first joined American Express, the former parent company of Ameriprise, in 1965, going on to hold positions of increasing responsibility, including spells as Senior Vice President and Treasurer of American Express Travel Related Services, Chief Financial Officer of American Express International, and Chief Financial Officer of Travel Related Services. He left the company in 1996, working in financial positions at several major companies, including a spell as Treasurer at IBM. Berman returned to American Express in 2001 as Corporate Treasurer.
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