Broker-dealer Ameriprise Financial Inc. posted higher profits for the second quarter on Wednesday and said the planned sale of its Securities America unit is “progressing as anticipated.”
Ameriprise said in April that it planned to sell Securities America after fraudulent private placements sold by its independent broker-dealer subsidiary resulted in costly settlements with investors and a $77 million after-tax charge for legal expenses in the first quarter.
Ameriprise’s second-quarter results excluded Securities America, which it now counts as discontinued operations for that quarter and all prior periods, the firm said.
Ameriprise’s net income from continuing operations rose 22% from one year ago to $313 million, or $1.25 per diluted share. For the same quarter last year, the firm’s net income totaled $257 million, or $0.97 per share.
Operating earnings totaled $328 million for the second quarter, or $1.31 per share, a 21% increase from one year ago when the firm posted $272 million, or $1.03 per share. Ameriprise attributed that growth to higher revenue, which was partially offset by higher tax rates.
Operating net revenue totaled $2.6 billion for the quarter, a 14% increase from $2.3 billion one year ago. That increase came as Ameriprise has seen increased market values and asset-based fees from retail client net inflows since last year. The boost to its results also came after the firm completed its acquisition of Columbia Management’s asset management business last year.
Ameriprise’s advisory and asset management businesses also posted strong results for the quarter, Ameriprise Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Cracchiolo said in a statement.
“Advisor productivity reached another record high, and we’re driving good asset flows and client activity,” Cracchiolo said. “Our asset management results in the quarter demonstrate the benefits of our increased scale and geographic reach, with strong earnings growth and improved retail and institutional flows.”
Increased advisor productivity came as assets under management and client activity increased. Net revenue per advisor was $99,000 for the second quarter, a 14% increase from the previous year.
Ameriprise’s advice and wealth management business had $108 million in pretax operating earnings, a 26% increase as advisors were more productive and equity markets and flow from new clients rose.
The advice and wealth management business’ operating net revenue rose to $957 million, a 12% increase, as management and distribution fees increased with higher assets under management and client activity. At the same time, operating expenses increased to $849 million, or by 11%, with investments in the business and volume-related business growth.
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