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Ameriprise Financial's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Earnings Results - Earnings Call Transcript

In 2011, we were in the top quintal of the S&P financial companies for return of capital. We returned almost three times the capital of the average company. I feel very good about our capital position and our strategy to increase total shareholder return. We’re generating strong free cash flow to reinvest in the business and return to shareholders. We intend to return the majority of our earnings to shareholders annually and increase the mix between dividends and repurchases gradually as we maintain our capital strength and flexibility to navigate periods of economic and market stress.

Now, let’s review our business segment performance. First advice and wealth management; we’ve consistently invested in our advisory business transforming it into a powerful growth platform. We’ve expanded both the earnings power and the profitability of the business by serving more mass affluent and affluent clients and growing advisor productivity. Through our targeted growth investments, we’ve set a nice springboard for our advisory business.

Our national television advertising presence continues and we were recently recognized with a David Ogilvy Award for excellence in advertising research. This year, we’ll complete our new brokerage platform implementation, a significant technology project that we began over a year ago. As we proceed through the next two quarters, we expect to convert more than 6,000 advisors to the new platform with the related technology expenses wrapping up later this year.

We’re also having very good success recruiting experienced advisors with attractive books of business. Advisors are increasingly attracted to the value we offer and the values we stand for. During the quarter, 117 experienced advisors joined Ameriprise which was one of our strongest recruiting quarters yet. Combined with the excellent stability and satisfaction of our legacy advisors, our advisor force is growing.

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