AMP » Topics » Our Strengths

This excerpt taken from the AMP 10-K filed Feb 29, 2008.

Our Strengths

              We believe we are positioned to be the provider of choice for financial planning products and services to a growing base of mass affluent and affluent consumers, particularly as many of them reach retirement. These strengths include our:

    Strong position in the financial services industry.  Over our more than 110-year history, we have established ourselves as a leading provider of financial planning and advice, as well as product solutions designed to help clients plan for and achieve their financial objectives, built on a foundation of personal relationships. As of December 31, 2007, we had $480.2 billion in owned, managed and administered assets and a sales force of more than 11,800 affiliated financial advisors. For the nine months ended September 30, 2007, our variable annuity

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      products ranked ninth in new sales of variable annuities (according to Morningstar Annuity Research Center). For the nine months ended September 30, 2007, our variable universal life insurance ranked fourth in sales based on total premiums (according to Tillinghast-Towers Perrin's Value™ survey) and our individual disability income insurance (non-cancellable) ranked seventh in sales based on total premiums (according to LIMRA International®).

    Longstanding and deep client relationships.  We believe that our branded advisors' financial planning approach helps to meet our clients' financial needs and fosters deep and long-term client relationships. We estimate that, of those clients who have received a financial plan or who have entered into an agreement to receive and have paid for a financial plan from our branded advisors, over 75% have been with us for three or more years, with an attrition rate of less than 1% per year. Our branded advisor clients with more than $100,000 in assets with us have been with us, on average, more than twelve years. More than 67% of these clients have received a financial plan or have entered into an agreement to receive and have paid for a financial plan and these clients hold an average of more than four products. We believe the depth of our branded advisor client relationships and portion of a client's liquid or investable assets (excluding 401(k) assets, employee stock plans and real estate) is leading in the industry.

    Personal financial planning and investment advisory approach targeted to the fast-growing mass affluent and affluent market segment. Our branded advisors offer our clients financial planning and other advisory services as well as certain banking and brokerage services. Our branded advisor network included the largest number of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals of any retail advisory force (based on data filed at adviserinfo.sec.gov and documented by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. as of December 31, 2006). Ameriprise is America's largest financial planning company. We believe our focus on financial planning positions us well to capitalize on the demographic trends in our target segment, particularly as they prepare for retirement. The mass affluent and affluent market segment accounts for about 90% of the $21 trillion of U.S. investable assets (according to the MacroMonitor 2006-2007 consumer survey prepared by SRI Consulting Business Intelligence). We have found that more than 58% of consumers in our target segment are willing to pay a knowledgeable advisor for financial advice to address their immediate and long-term needs in the context of their entire financial situation (MacroMonitor 2006-2007 survey prepared by SRI Consulting Business Intelligence). We believe the financial planning process not only helps us to develop more tailored solutions designed to address our clients' financial needs, but also helps us develop a better understanding of the demographics and trends among our clients. We believe our approach results in increased client satisfaction, longer-term relationships with our clients and better risk profiles in our Protection segment. Our experience has shown that by helping our clients in their efforts to meet their financial needs through our financial planning approach, clients with an implemented financial planning relationship hold approximately three times more invested assets with our company than clients without a financial plan.

    Large, well-trained sales force with a nationwide presence.  At December 31, 2007, we had a nationwide network that included more than 10,200 branded advisors and more than 1,600 unbranded advisors. According to Investment News' 2008 Broker-Dealer Profile, our branded advisor force was determined to be the third largest sales force in the United States in 2007 based on the number of our registered representatives. We offer training designed to instill knowledge of varied product and service offerings and our personalized client focus. We provide tools necessary to help deliver a consistent, disciplined financial planning experience to clients. We believe that the grounding of our branded advisors in our financial planning

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      model, as well as the resources that our integrated business model offers them, enhances our ability to hire, offer franchises to, and retain financial advisors.

    Broad product development capability and diversified range of products and services. We develop and manage a broad range of asset accumulation, income and insurance products under the RiverSource and Threadneedle brands. In addition to our RiverSource and Threadneedle families of funds, we are a leading underwriter of variable annuity and life insurance products, and we also underwrite fixed annuities and other products such as disability income and personal auto and home insurance. Under the Ameriprise Brand, we offer certificates, and banking, brokerage and investment advisor/wrap products and services. Complementing our product offerings, we also provide access to a wide range of other companies' products and securities and offer a number of financial planning, banking and related services to help our clients achieve their financial goals. The diversity among our product and service offerings not only assists our affiliated financial advisor network in addressing the varied needs of our clients, but also provides our company with diversification among its sources of revenues and earnings.

    Strong balance sheet and ratings and comprehensive risk management process.  We believe our size, ratings and capital strength provide us with a sound basis for competing in the marketplace. Our strong balance sheet, sound risk management and financial discipline have helped us maintain strong ratings, as well as client and financial advisor confidence in our business. We have a high quality investment portfolio, with only 6% of our invested assets rated below investment grade as of December 31, 2007. In addition, we apply risk management tools to prudently manage our company's risk profile.

    Experienced management team with sound business and decision-making capabilities. Our senior management team has an average of over 23 years of experience in the financial services industry. We emphasize a performance- and execution-oriented corporate culture. We utilize a consistent decision-making framework to evaluate our existing products and businesses, as well as to prioritize growth opportunities and the associated trade-offs for our company. This framework takes into account four key elements: client needs and behavior, competitor positioning and strategies, our capabilities and risk-return financial metrics.
This excerpt taken from the AMP 10-K filed Feb 27, 2007.

Our Strengths

We believe we are positioned to be the provider of choice to a growing base of mass affluent and affluent consumers, particularly as many of them reach their retirement phase of life.  These strengths include our:

·                  Strong heritage with established position in the financial services industry.  Over our more than 110-year history, we have established ourselves as a leading provider of solutions designed to help clients plan for and achieve their financial objectives, built on a foundation of personal relationships.  We are investing in and building on our heritage as we have re-established ourselves as an independent company with a new brand identity following the Distribution from American Express.  As of December 31, 2006, we had $466.1 billion in owned, managed and administered assets and a sales force of more than 12,000 affiliated financial advisors.  For the year ended December 31, 2006, our variable annuity products ranked eighth in new sales of variable annuities (according to VARDS®).  For the nine months ended September 30, 2006, our variable universal life insurance ranked first in sales based on total premiums (according to Tillinghast-Towers Perrin’s ValueÔ survey) and our individual disability income insurance (non-cancellable) ranked seventh in sales based on total premiums (according to LIMRA International®).

·                  Longstanding and deep client relationships.  We believe that our branded advisor financial planning approach helps to meet our clients’ financial needs and fosters deep and long-term client relationships.  We estimate that, of our branded advisor clients who have received a financial plan or who have entered into an agreement to receive and have paid for a financial plan, over 75% have been with us for three or more years, with an attrition rate of less than 2% per year.  Our branded advisor clients with more than $100,000 in assets with us have been with us, on average, more than 12 years.  More than 60% of these longstanding clients have a financial plan and these clients hold an average of at least four products.  We believe the depth of our branded advisor client relationships and portion of a client’s liquid or investable assets (excluding 401(k) assets, employee stock plans and real estate) is leading in the industry.

·                  Personal financial planning and investment advisory approach targeted to the fast-growing mass affluent and affluent market segment.  Our branded advisors offer our clients financial planning and other advisory services as well as banking and brokerage services.  Our branded advisor network included the largest number of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERÔ professionals of any retail advisory force as of December 2006 (according to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.).  We believe our focus on financial planning positions us well to capitalize on the demographic trends in our target segment, particularly as they prepare for retirement.  The mass affluent and affluent market segment accounts for about 90% of the $21 trillion of U.S. investable assets (according to the MacroMonitor 2006-2007 consumer survey prepared by SRI Consulting Business Intelligence).  We have found that more than 58% of consumers in our target segment are willing to pay a knowledgeable advisor for financial advice to address their immediate and long-term needs in the context of their entire financial situation (MacroMonitor 2006-2007 survey prepared by SRI Consulting Business Intelligence).  We believe the planning process not only helps us to develop more tailored solutions designed to address our clients’ financial needs but also helps us develop a better understanding of the demographics and trends among our clients.  We believe our approach results in increased client satisfaction, longer-term relationships with our clients and better risk profiles in our Protection segment.  Our experience has shown that by helping our clients meet their needs through our financial planning approach, clients with an implemented financial planning relationship hold approximately three times more invested assets with our company than clients without a financial plan.

·                  Large, well-trained sales force with a nationwide presence.  At December 31, 2006, we had a nationwide network that included more than 10,000 branded advisors and more than 1,700 unbranded advisors.  According to the 2006-2007 Securities Industry Association Yearbook, we had the third largest sales force in 2006 among Securities Industry Association members (based on the number of our registered representatives).  Most of our branded advisors started their careers in financial planning with our company.  We offer training designed to instill the financial knowledge of our varied product and service offerings, personalized client focus and tools necessary to help deliver a consistent, disciplined financial planning experience to clients.  We believe that the grounding of our branded advisors in our financial planning model, as well as the resources that our integrated business model offers them, enhances our ability to hire, offer franchises to, and retain financial advisors.  As of December 31, 2006, over 60% of our branded advisors had been with our company for more than four years and within that group, they have an average tenure of nearly 13 years.

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·                  Broad product development capability and diversified range of products and services.  We develop and manage a broad range of asset accumulation, income and insurance products under the RiverSource and Threadneedle brands.  In addition to our RiverSource and ThreadneedleSM families of mutual funds, we are a leading producer of variable annuity and variable life insurance products and fixed annuities, and we also develop disability income and personal auto and home insurance.  Complementing our product offerings, we also provide access to a wide range of other companies’ products and securities and offer a number of financial planning, banking and related services to help our clients achieve their financial goals.  The diversity among our product and service offerings not only assists our affiliated financial advisor network in addressing the varied needs of our clients, but also provides our company with diversification among its sources of revenues and earnings.

·                  Strong balance sheet and ratings and comprehensive risk management process.  We believe our size, ratings and capital strength provide us with a sound basis for competing in the marketplace.  Our strong balance sheet, sound risk management and financial discipline have helped us maintain strong ratings, as well as client and financial advisor confidence in our business.  We have a high quality investment portfolio, with only 7% of our available-for-sale fixed income securities rated below investment grade as of December 31, 2006.  In addition, we apply risk management tools to prudently manage the risk profile of our company.

·                  Experienced management team with sound business and decision-making capabilities.  Our senior management team has an average of over 22 years of experience in the financial services industry.  We are fostering a performance- and execution-oriented corporate culture.  We utilize a consistent decision-making framework to evaluate our existing products and businesses, as well as to prioritize growth opportunities and the associated trade-offs for our company.  This framework takes into account four key elements:  client needs and behavior, competitor positioning and strategies, our capabilities and risk-return financial metrics.

This excerpt taken from the AMP 10-K filed Mar 8, 2006.

Our Strengths

 

We believe our company is positioned to be the provider of choice to a growing base of mass affluent consumers, particularly as many of them reach their retirement phase of life. These strengths include our:

 

                  Strong heritage with established position in the financial services industry.  Over our more than 110-year history, we have established ourselves as a leading provider of solutions designed to help clients plan for and achieve their financial objectives, built on a foundation of personal relationships and a tailored approach.  We further reinforced these traits during our 21-year tenure as a subsidiary of American Express Company.  We are investing in and building on our heritage as we have re-established ourselves as an independent company with a new brand identity.  As of December 31, 2005, we had over $428 billion in owned, managed and administered assets and a sales force of over 12,000 financial advisors, and our variable annuity products ranked 11th in new sales of variable annuities (according to VARDS®).  For the year ended December 31, 2005, our variable universal life insurance ranked first in sales based on total premiums (according to Tillinghast-Towers Perrin ValueÔ survey), and for the nine months ended September 30, 2005 our individual disability income insurance ranked eighth in sales based on total premiums (according to LIMRA International®).

 

                  Longstanding and deep client relationships.  We believe that our financial planning approach helps to meet our clients’ financial needs and fosters deep and long-term client relationships.  We estimate that, of our clients with a financial plan, over 75% of those clients have been with us for three or more years, with an attrition rate of less than 2% per year.  Our clients with more than $100,000 in assets with our company have been with us, on average, more than 12 years.  More than 60% of these longstanding clients have a financial plan and these clients hold an average of at least four products.

 

                  Personal financial planning, investment advisory and brokerage relationships targeted to fast-growing mass affluent market segment.  We offer our clients personalized financial planning and other advisory services as well as brokerage services through our financial advisor network.  Our branded advisor network included the largest number of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERÔ practitioners of any retail advisory force in 2004 (according to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.).  We believe our focus on financial planning positions us well to capitalize on the demographic trends in our target mass affluent market segment,

 

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particularly as they prepare for retirement.  The mass affluent market segment accounts for about half of the $17 trillion of U.S. investable assets (according to the MacroMonitor 2004-2005 consumer survey prepared by SRI Consulting Business Intelligence).  We have found that more than half of consumers in our target segment are willing to pay a knowledgeable advisor for financial advice to address their immediate and long-term needs in the context of their entire financial situation (MacroMonitor 2004-2005 survey prepared by SRI Consulting Business Intelligence).  We believe the planning process not only helps us develop a better understanding of the demographics and trends among our clients, but also helps us to develop more tailored solutions designed to address our clients’ financial needs.  We believe our approach results in increased client satisfaction, longer-term relationships with our clients and better risk profiles in our Protection segment.  Our experience has shown that by helping our clients meet their needs through our financial planning approach, clients with an implemented personalized financial planning relationship hold approximately three times more invested assets with our company than clients without a financial plan.

 

                  Large, well-trained sales force with a nationwide presence.  At December 31, 2005, we had a nationwide network that included over 10,500 branded advisors and over 1,700 financial advisors of SAI.  According to the 2005-2006 Securities Industry Association Yearbook, we had the fourth largest sales force in 2005 among Securities Industry Association members (based on the number of our branded advisors).  Most of our branded advisors started their careers as financial planners with our company.  They begin as employee financial advisors and go through training designed to instill the financial knowledge, personalized client focus and tools necessary to help deliver a consistent, disciplined financial planning experience to clients as well as our varied product and service offerings.  We believe that the grounding of our branded advisors in our financial planning model, as well as the resources that our integrated business model provides them, enhances our ability to hire and retain financial advisors.  As of December 31, 2005, over 60% of our branded advisors had been with our company for more than four years and within that group, they have an average tenure of slightly more than 12 years.

 

                  Broad product development capability and diversified range of products and services.  We develop and manage a broad range of asset accumulation, income management and insurance protection products.  In addition to our RiverSourceSM and ThreadneedleSM families of mutual funds, we are a leading producer of variable annuity and variable life products and also develop fixed annuities, face-amount certificates and banking products and a host of insurance protection products such as life, disability income and personal auto and home insurance.  Complementing our product offerings, we also provide access to a wide range of other companies’ products and securities, and offer a number of services to help our clients achieve their financial goals.  The diversity among our product and service offerings not only assists our financial advisor network in addressing the varied needs of our clients, but also provides our company with diversification among its sources of revenues and earnings.

 

                  Strong balance sheet and ratings and comprehensive risk management process.  We believe our size, ratings and capital strength provide us with a sound basis for competing in the marketplace.  Our strong balance sheet, sound risk management and financial discipline have helped us maintain strong ratings, as well as client and financial advisor confidence in our business.  We have a high quality investment portfolio, with approximately 7% rated below investment grade as of December 31, 2005.  In addition, we apply risk management tools to prudently manage the risk profile of our company.

 

                  Experienced management team with sound business and decision-making capabilities.  Our senior management team has an average of over 21 years of experience in the financial services industry.  We have instilled a performance- and execution-oriented corporate culture.  We utilize a consistent decision-making framework to evaluate our existing products and businesses, as well as to prioritize growth opportunities and the associated trade-offs for our company.  This framework takes into account four key elements: client needs and behavior, competitor positioning and strategies, our capabilities, and risk-return financial metrics.

 

This excerpt taken from the AMP 8-K filed Sep 16, 2005.

Our Strengths

        We believe our strengths position our company to be the provider of choice to a growing base of mass affluent consumers, particularly as many of them reach their retirement phase of life. These strengths include our:

    Strong heritage with established position in the financial services industry. Over our 111-year history, we have established ourselves as a leading provider of solutions to help clients plan for and achieve their financial objectives, built on a foundation of personal relationships and a tailored approach. We further reinforced these traits during our 21-year tenure as a subsidiary of American Express Company. We intend to invest in and build on our heritage in re-establishing ourselves as an independent company with a new brand strategy. As of June 30, 2005, we had $410.2 billion in owned, managed and administered assets and a sales force of over 12,000 financial advisors and registered representatives. In 2004, our variable annuity products ranked 11th in new sales of variable annuities (according to VARDS®), our variable universal life insurance ranked 2nd in sales based on total premiums (according to Tillinghast Towers Perin Value™ survey) and our disability income insurance ranked 7th in sales based on total premiums (according to LIMRA International®). We were ranked among the top 15 full service 401(k) retirement plan providers based on assets for which we provide record keeping as of December 31, 2004 (according to CFO Magazine, April and May 2005).

    Longstanding and deep client relationships. We believe that our financial planning approach fosters deep and long-term client relationships. We estimate that, of our clients with a financial plan, 75% have been with us for more than three years, with an attrition rate of less than 2% per year. Our clients with more than $100,000 in assets with our company have been with us, on average, more than 12 years. More than 60% of these clients have a financial plan and these clients hold an average of at least four products.

    Personal planning and advisory relationships targeted to fast-growing mass affluent segment. We offer our clients personalized financial planning and advisory services through our financial advisor network. Our branded advisor network included the largest number of Certified Financial Planner™ practitioners of any retail advisory force in 2004 (according to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.). We believe our focus on financial planning positions us well to capitalize on the demographic trends in our target mass affluent segment—defined as households with income above $50,000 and investable assets between $100,000 and $1,000,000—

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      particularly as they prepare for retirement. The mass affluent market accounts for about half of the $17 trillion of U.S. investable assets (according to the MacroMonitor 2004-2005 consumer survey prepared by SRI Consulting Business Intelligence). We have found that a majority of consumers in our target segment are willing to pay a knowledgeable advisor for financial advice to address their immediate and long term needs in the context of their entire financial situation (MacroMonitor 2004-2005 survey prepared by SRI Consulting Business Intelligence). We believe the planning process not only helps us develop a better understanding of the demographics and trends among our clients, but also helps us to develop more tailored solutions to address our clients' financial needs. We believe our approach results in increased client satisfaction, longer-term relationships with our clients and better risk profiles in our protection business. Our experience has shown that clients with a personalized financial planning relationship hold approximately three times more invested assets with our company than clients without a financial plan, and hold on average seven products (which is almost three times more than clients without a financial plan).

    Large, well-trained sales force with a nationwide presence. At June 30, 2005, we had a nationwide network that included over 10,500 branded financial advisors. Our network represented the fifth largest sales force in the United States among Securities Industry Association member firms based on the number of our branded advisors (according to the 2004-2005 Yearbook of the Securities Industry Association) at December 31, 2004. Most of our branded advisors start their careers as financial planners with our company. They begin as employee advisors and go through training designed to instill the financial knowledge, personalized focus and tools necessary to help deliver a consistent, disciplined financial planning experience to clients as well as our varied product and service offerings. We believe that the grounding of our branded advisors in our financial planning model, as well as the resources that our integrated business model provides them, enhances our ability to hire and retain advisors. As of June 30, 2005, over 60% of our branded financial advisors had been with our company for more than 4 years and within that group, they have an average tenure of slightly more than 12 years.

    Broad product development capability and diversified range of products and services. We develop and manage a broad range of asset accumulation, income management and protection products. In addition to our AXP and Threadneedle families of mutual funds, we are a leading producer of variable annuity and variable universal life products and also develop fixed annuities, face-amount certificates and deposit and credit products and a host of protection products such as life, disability income and personal auto and home insurance. Complementing our product offerings, we also provide access to a wide range of other companies' products and offer a number of services to help our clients achieve their financial goals. The diversity among our product and service offerings not only assists our financial advisor network in addressing the varied needs of our clients, but also provides our company with diversification among its sources of revenues and earnings.

    Strong balance sheet and ratings and comprehensive risk management process. We believe our size, ratings and capital strength provide us with a sound basis for competing in the marketplace. Our holding company credit ratings currently are "A3" by Moody's, with a stable outlook and "A-" by Fitch, with a stable outlook. We also expect Standard & Poor's and A.M. Best to issue a debt rating to our company at the time of our first senior debt issuance. Our strong balance sheet, sound risk management and financial discipline have helped us maintain strong ratings, as well as client and advisor confidence in our business. We have a strong investment portfolio, with 6.5% rated below investment grade as of June 30, 2005. In addition, we apply risk management tools to prudently manage the risk profile of our company.

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    Experienced management team with sound business and decision-making capabilities. Our senior management team has an average of approximately 21 years of experience in the financial services industry. We have adopted American Express Company's recognized practices for successfully developing managerial talent at all levels of our organization and have instilled a performance- and execution-oriented corporate culture that we will continue to foster as an independent company. We utilize a consistent decision-making framework to evaluate our existing products and businesses, as well as to prioritize growth opportunities and the associated trade-offs for our company. This framework takes into account four key elements: client needs and behavior, competitor positioning and strategies, our capabilities and risk-return financial metrics.

"Our Strengths" elsewhere:

Sun Life Financial (SLF)
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