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DOL Fiduciary News: January 30, 2018

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Ameriprise wealth unit sheds lower producers, boosts profits

Financial Planning; January 28 2018, 3:13pm EST

Financial advisors at Ameriprise can expect new digital tools and other capabilities after the firm's many changes to comply with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, its CEO says.

“Our advisors are actually generating even nicer increased productivity. And we’re actually going to do a bit more in helping the advisors grow this year, now that we’re not concentrating on DoL activities,” Jim Cracchiolo said Thursday during the firm’s fourth quarter earnings call.

“Over the course of the year, we’re continuing to really deploy and invest in better capabilities to help our advisors even be more engaged.”

Noting that the firm’s new cash flow rose in the past year over the amounts seen in 2015 and 2016, Cracchiolo pledged upgrades to the client experience and “contact activities” for advisors. Representatives for the firm declined to elaborate on his comments.

The Minneapolis-based firm’s advice and wealth management unit consists of the second largest independent broker-dealer and one of the largest employee brokerages. The unit’s headcount increased 2% in the past year to 9,896, mainly due to the acquisition of Investment Professionals, a San Antonio-based IBD. Without that acquisition, headcount would have been flat.

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