A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings Of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. And Its Subsidiaries

A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term 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 the Long-Term ICRs of "a+" of 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/health and property/casualty insurance subsidiaries of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (Ameriprise) (headquartered in Minneapolis, MN) [NYSE:AMP]. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of "a-" and the existing Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR) of Ameriprise. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings of the life/health companies primarily reflect their strong risk-adjusted capital positions, favorable operating results, effective hedging programs, strong market positions and brand recognition. Ameriprise continues to benefit from its strong fee-based businesses, growth in client and advisory activity and increased sales and deposits in the protection and variable annuity space. The favorable operating earnings have been able to offset significant stockholder dividends, which has enabled the life/health companies to maintain their strong capital positions. Furthermore, Ameriprise continues to employ effective hedge programs that are primarily constructed to hedge GAAP income and economic risk, but also to limit statutory capital volatility. The group also has reduced the risk of some of its product offerings, which included the launch of its managed volatility funds that are now required for all new variable annuities with a living benefit rider. The managed volatility funds have helped Ameriprise lower hedge costs and performance volatility, while reducing required capital.

The ratings also consider Ameriprise's broad multi-platform network of financial advisers, its leading market position and well-developed enterprise risk management (ERM) program. A.M. Best notes that the number of branded financial advisers remained relatively flat in recent periods, but overall retention rates on experienced advisers remain in the mid-90% range. At the holding company level, Ameriprise maintains a moderate level of financial leverage of approximately 30% with solid interest coverage. Both measures are within A.M. Best's guidelines for Ameriprise's current ratings.

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