Ameriprise Financial, Inc. is a holding company incorporated in Delaware primarily engaged in business through its subsidiaries. Accordingly, references below to "Ameriprise Financial," "we," "us" and "our" may refer to Ameriprise Financial, Inc. exclusively, to our entire family of companies or to one or more of our subsidiaries. Our headquarters is located at 55 Ameriprise Financial Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55474. We also maintain executive offices in New York City.
We provide financial planning, products and services that are designed to be utilized as solutions for our clients' cash and liquidity, asset accumulation, income, protection, and estate and wealth transfer needs. Our model for delivering these solutions is centered on building long-term personal relationships between our affiliated advisors and clients, and in the case of our products distributed through unaffiliated advisors, by supporting those advisors in building strong client relationships. We believe that our focus on personal relationships, together with our strengths in financial planning and product development, allow us to better address the evolving financial needs of our clients and our primary target market segment, the mass affluent and affluent, which we define as households with investable assets of more than $100,000.
Our branded affiliated advisors' financial planning and advisory process is designed to provide comprehensive advice, when appropriate, to address our clients' cash and liquidity, asset accumulation, income, protection, and estate and wealth transfer needs. This approach allows us to recommend actions and a range of product solutions consisting of investment, annuity, insurance, banking and other financial products that help clients attain over time a return or form of protection while accepting what they determine to be an appropriate range and level of risk. Our focus puts us in a strong position to capitalize on significant demographic and market trends, which we believe will continue to drive increased demand for our financial planning and other financial services. Our focus on deep client-advisor relationships has been central to the ability of our business model to succeed through the extreme market conditions of 2008 and 2009, and we believe it will help us to respond to future market cycles. We continue to establish Ameriprise Financial as a financial services leader as we focus on meeting the financial needs of the mass affluent and affluent, as evidenced by our continued leadership in financial planning, a client retention percentage rate of 93%, and, upon the anticipated closing of our acquisition of Columbia Management Group's long-term asset management business ("Columbia"), our status as a top ten ranked firm within core portions of each of our four main business segments, including our U.S. advisor force, long-term U.S. mutual funds, variable annuities and variable universal life insurance.
Our multi-platform network of affiliated financial advisors is the primary means by which we develop personal relationships with retail clients. As of December 31, 2009, we had a network of more than 12,000 financial advisors and registered representatives ("affiliated financial advisors"). We refer to the affiliated financial advisors who use our brand name as our branded advisors, and those who do not use our brand name but who are affiliated as registered representatives of ours, as our unbranded advisors. The financial product solutions we offer through our affiliated advisors include both our own products and services and the products of other companies. Our branded advisor network is the primary distribution channel through which we offer our investment and annuity products and services, as well as a range of banking and protection products. Our asset management, annuity and auto and home protection products are also distributed through unaffiliated advisors and affinity relationships. We offer our branded advisors training, tools, leadership, marketing programs and other field and centralized support to assist them in delivering advice and product solutions to clients. We support unaffiliated advisors with strong sales and service support and our solutions which they provide to clients. We believe our approach not only improves the products and services we provide to their clients, but allows us to reinvest in enhanced services for clients and increase support for financial advisors. Our integrated model of financial planning, diversified product manufacturing and proprietary and non-proprietary product distribution affords us a better understanding of our clients, which allows us to better manage the risk profile of our businesses. We believe our focus on meeting clients' needs through personal financial planning results in more satisfied clients with deeper, longer lasting relationships with our company and a higher retention of experienced financial advisors.
We believe we are well positioned to further strengthen our offerings to existing and new clients and deliver profitable long-term growth to our shareholders. Our five strategic objectives are:
> Be the leading provider of financial planning products and services to the mass affluent and affluent.
> Become the platform of choice for financial planning-focused advisors.
> Reinforce our financial planning leadership.
> Capture greater assets and protection in force by improving and expanding our product solutions and extending our distribution reach.
> Ensure an increasingly stronger and more efficient operating foundation.
Our five operating segments are:
> Advice & Wealth Management;
> Asset Management;
> Protection; and
> Corporate & Other.
Our Principal Brands
We use two principal brands for our businesses in the United States: Ameriprise Financial and RiverSource.
We use Ameriprise Financial as our holding company brand, as well as the name of our branded advisor network and certain of our retail products and services. The retail products and services that utilize the Ameriprise brand include products and services that we provide through our branded advisors (e.g., investment advisory accounts, retail brokerage services and banking products) and products and services that we market directly to consumers (e.g., personal auto and home insurance).
We use our RiverSource brand for our U.S. asset management, annuity, and the majority of our protection products. Products that utilize the RiverSource name include retail and institutional asset management products, retail mutual funds, annuities and life and disability income insurance products. We believe that using a distinct brand for these products differentiates them from our branded advisor network. We expect that certain branding elements of our U.S. asset management and annuities businesses will change following consummation of the Columbia purchase to reflect and leverage the brand equity of that acquisition.
We use our Threadneedle brand for our international asset management products.
The following is a simplified depiction of the organizational structure for our company, showing the primary subsidiaries through which we operate our businesses. The current legal entity names are provided for each subsidiary.
Following is a brief description of the business conducted by each subsidiary noted above, as well as the segment or segments in which it primarily operates.
> Threadneedle Asset Management Holdings Sàrl is a Luxembourg-based holding company for the Threadneedle group of companies ("Threadneedle"), which provides investment management products and services to clients in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and the Asia-Pacific region on a basis primarily independent from our other affiliates. Operating under its own brand name, management organization and operating, compliance and technology infrastructure, Threadneedle's results of operations are included in our Asset Management segment.
> RiverSource Investments, LLC serves as investment advisor to our RiverSource® and Seligman® family of mutual funds and to institutional accounts. Its results of operations are included in our Asset Management and Corporate & Other segments.
> J. & W. Seligman & Co., Incorporated is a holding company for the Seligman group of companies. Seligman's results of operations are included in our Asset Management segment.
> RiverSource Fund Distributors, Inc. is a broker-dealer subsidiary which serves as the principal underwriter and distributor for our RiverSource and Seligman mutual funds. Its results of operations are included in our Asset Management segment.
> American Enterprise Investment Services Inc. ("AEIS") is our registered clearing broker-dealer subsidiary. Brokerage transactions for accounts introduced by Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. are executed and cleared through AEIS. Its results of operations are included in our Advice & Wealth Management segment.
> Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. ("AFSI"), a registered broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, is our primary financial planning and retail distribution subsidiary, which operates under our Ameriprise Financial brand name. Its results of operations are included in our Advice & Wealth Management segment.
> Securities America Financial Corporation is a holding company for Securities America, Inc. ("SAI"), our retail distribution subsidiary, which provides a platform for our unbranded affiliated advisors. Operating under its own name, management organization and operating, compliance and technology infrastructure, its results of operations are included in our Advice & Wealth Management segment.
> AMPF Holding Corporation is a holding company for certain of our retail brokerage and advisory subsidiaries including AFSI, AEIS and Ameriprise Advisor Services, Inc. ("AASI", formerly known as H&R Block Financial Advisors, Inc.). In October 2009, AASI's retail brokerage and investment advisory activities were combined into those of AEIS and AFSI, respectively. AFSI now serves as the introducing broker-dealer and advisor for former clients of AASI, while AEIS now provides clearing services. AMPF Holding Corporation's results of operations are included in our Advice & Wealth Management segment.
> RiverSource Distributors, Inc. ("RiverSource Distributors") is a broker-dealer subsidiary which serves as the principal underwriter and distributor for our RiverSource annuities and insurance products sold through AFSI and SAI as well as through third-party channels such as banks and broker-dealer networks. Its results of operations are included in our Asset Management, Annuities and Protection segments.
> RiverSource Life Insurance Company ("RiverSource Life") conducts its insurance and annuity business in states other than New York. Its results of operations for our annuities business are included primarily in the Annuities segment, and its results of operations with respect to other life and health products it manufactures are reflected primarily in the Protection segment. Investment income on excess capital is reported in the Corporate & Other segment.
> RiverSource Life Insurance Co. of New York ("RiverSource Life of NY") conducts its insurance and annuity business in the State of New York. Its results of operations for our annuities business are included primarily in the Annuities segment, and its results of operations with respect to other life and health products it manufactures are reflected primarily in the Protection segment. Investment income on excess capital is reported in the Corporate & Other segment. RiverSource Life of NY is a wholly owned subsidiary of RiverSource Life. We refer to RiverSource Life and RiverSource Life of NY as the "RiverSource Life companies."
> RiverSource Service Corporation is a transfer agent that processes client transactions for our RiverSource mutual funds and Ameriprise face-amount certificates. Its results of operations are included in our Asset Management segment.
> IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company ("IDS Property Casualty" or "Ameriprise Auto & Home") provides personal auto, home and excess liability insurance products. Ameriprise Insurance Company is also licensed to provide these products. The results of operations of these companies are included in the Protection segment.
> Ameriprise Certificate Company issues a variety of face-amount certificates. Its results of operations are included in the Advice & Wealth Management segment.
> Ameriprise Trust Company provides trust services to individuals and businesses. Its results of operations are included in the Asset Management segment.
> Ameriprise Bank, FSB ("Ameriprise Bank") offers a variety of consumer banking and lending products and personal trust and related services. Its results of operations are included in the Advice & Wealth Management segment.
At December 31, 2009, we had 9,793 employees, including 2,445 employee branded advisors (which does not include our branded franchisee advisors or the unbranded advisors of SAI and its subsidiaries, none of whom are employees of our company). We are not subject to collective bargaining agreements, and we believe that our employee relations are strong.