Ameriprise Financial says advice and wealth management is one of its growth engines and the firm will continue investments in those segments to continue this momentum, as it reported its third quarter earnings.
“We continue to invest significantly in our client experience capabilities, products and solutions,” Ameriprise CEO Jim Cracchiolo told analysts on an earnings call Thursday.
“In our advisory business, the rollout of our integrated customer advisory relationship is underway, and will be completed in the next few months. With this program, our various advisory strategies work together on one technology platform giving advisors more flexibility to deliver personal investments and solutions based on client goals. This is a key capability as we serve a more affluent client base,” Cracchiolo added.
Ameriprise hopes to transition to a new Salesforce CRM by the end of the fourth quarter this year. The firm is also adding to its digital capabilities through the adoption of more tools that will help advisors increase client engagement and improve productivity.
For the third quarter, Ameriprise reported advisor productivity at $650,000 on a trailing 12-month basis, up 1.8% compared to $638,000 in the prior quarter and up 5.3% from $617,000 in the same period last year.
As reported, the firm’s advisor roster for Q3 stood 9,930, a little lower versus 9,951 in the previous quarter and 9,933 in the same quarter the year before. Its retention rate dropped slightly to 91.8% for Q3 2019 — the lowest in the past four quarters.
The firm says it attracted 96 “top performing, experienced advisors” during the quarter and is confident of its pipeline.
“We do very well recruiting out in the industry. Our net pipeline and net production is quite good coming in. But you're always going to have some advisors leave for whatever reason,” said Cracchiolo on the analysts call.
When asked about the industry’s move to zero commissions, Cracchiolo said it would mean little impact for Ameriprise.
“We’re not really in online trading. It’s a very minor activity for us, for our clients,” said Cracchiolo.