The advice and wealth management unit was a boon for Ameriprise as the firm reported that overall profit had doubled in the third quarter.
The advice segment, which accounted for 40% of total profit, reported earnings of $153 million, up 29% from the year-ago quarter, from $1.07 billion in revenue.
"We had an excellent quarter with strong growth in revenue and record operating earnings," Jim Cracchiolo, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We are building on the momentum we've experienced throughout the year; wealth management is producing strong results and assets under management are up across the firm."
Results in the wealth segment benefitted from a rise in assets under management. Total client assets, which include accounts in both its employee and franchise advisor channel, rose 13% year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter to a record $389 billion.
Revenue generated from asset management and financial advice fees was up $18% from the previous quarter and accounted for $515 million. The total number of branded financial plans sold, however, dropped 10% from last quarter to 55 million, which was up from 49 million in the year-ago quarter.
Recruitment picked up firm-wide with the addition of 86 experienced advisors in the third quarter.
That helped steady numbers in the employee channel where retention ticked down slightly from 91.5% in the third quarter last year to 91.3%. The firm, which reported that it had 2,235 advisors, lost 93 advisors in the past year, 54 of whom left in the past quarter.
Meanwhile, retention was up in the franchise channel from 93.8% a year ago to 94.7%. The firm had 7,526 independent advisors at the end of the third quarter.
Overall, the firm beat earnings estimates with a total profit of $382 million from $2.81 billion in revenue.