A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of RiverSource Life Insurance Company (Minneapolis, MN) and its wholly owned subsidiary, RiverSource Life Insurance Co. of New York. (Albany, NY). A.M. Best also has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and ICR of “a+” of Ameriprise P&C Companies and its members, IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company (IDS) and its wholly owned, fully reinsured subsidiary, Ameriprise Insurance Company (both domiciled in De Pere, WI). Together, these companies represent the key life insurance and property/casualty subsidiaries of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (Ameriprise) (headquartered in Minneapolis, MN) (NYSE: AMP).
Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “a-” and the existing debt ratings of Ameriprise. The outlook for all ratings is stable. (Please see below for a detailed listing of the debt ratings.)
The ratings of the life insurance companies primarily reflect their strong risk-adjusted capital positions, adequate liquidity and the financial flexibility and favorable balance sheet strength of Ameriprise. While overall premium growth has been challenged in recent periods, statutory operating results have benefitted from higher fees associated with an increase in separate account asset valuations and the release of reserves supporting variable annuity guarantees. Whereas statutory operating results have historically fluctuated during times of equity market volatility, A.M. Best notes that Ameriprise employs an effective hedge program that is constructed to hedge GAAP income, economic risk and statutory capital. Ameriprise also has taken measures to improve its hedge effectiveness and decrease the risk profile of some of its product offerings in recent periods. Furthermore, Ameriprise maintains a moderate level of financial leverage, adequate fixed charge coverage and reasonable levels of intangibles and goodwill on its balance sheet relative to its current ratings.
The ratings also consider Ameriprise’s broad multi-platform network of financial advisors and strong brand recognition in the industry. Although the number of financial advisors has declined in recent periods, A.M. Best notes that productivity per advisor has improved during this time as the company has focused on improving the productivity of experienced advisors, while culling less productive agents.