Our history

A legacy of putting clients first

In 1894, John Tappan founded Ameriprise Financial with a singular vision -- to help ordinary Americans achieve their goals. For 125 years, we have remained committed to putting clients' needs first, always. 

The strength of this commitment is matched only by our strength as a company. Over the years, we've helped millions of people invest billions of dollars so they may pursue what's important to them. Our approximately 10,000 financial advisors1 work with clients one-to-one to deliver personalized financial advice to help them achieve their goals, today and tomorrow, through our Confident Retirement® approach. 

As we look to the future, we remain steadfast in our commitment to putting clients first, helping to ensure they’re able to meet their financial goals for the next 125 years.  

A tradition of commitment since 1894

Through downturns, recessions, booms, the Great Depression and the Great Recession, we have honored every financial obligation we make to our clients. Today, Ameriprise Financial is a longstanding leader in financial planning and advice, with a rich tradition of giving back to the communities where our clients live and thrive.

2019

125 years after our company was founded, our mission today is the same - to help people feel confident about their financial future.

National trust bank converts to Ameriprise Bank, FSB.

2017

Columbia Threadneedle Investments acquires Lionstone Investments, a data-analytics driven U.S. real estate investment firm.

Ameriprise Financial acquires Investment Professionals, Inc. to form a new Ameriprise advisor channel focused on serving clients of financial institutions.

2015

New Columbia Threadneedle Investments brand promise launches.

Launch of Columbia Threadneedle Investments brand.

2014

Ameriprise Financial launches the Confident Retirement® approach.

2010

With the Columbia Management acquisition, Ameriprise Financial becomes the eighth-largest manager of long-term U.S. mutual fund assets.

2009

Ameriprise Financial announced a charitable partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.

2008

Ameriprise Financial acquires J. & W. Seligman and H&R Block Financial Advisors.

Global economic crisis drives broad stock market declines.

When the Reserve Fund “broke the buck” in one of its money market funds and freezes assets, Ameriprise Financial responds by advancing $700 million to help meet clients’ immediate cash needs and developing extensive market volatility resources for advisors.

2007

The company enters the FORTUNE 500® at 297.2

2005

Ameriprise Financial becomes an independent, publicly-owned company with more than 12,000 advisors and registered representatives and more than two million individual, business and institutional clients.

AMP begins trading on NYSE.

Jim Cracchiolo becomes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ameriprise Financial.

As part of the company’s branch launch, Ameriprise Financial renames American Express Property Casualty Insurance companies to Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance and announces the RiverSource brand, covering the product, investment and distribution businesses.

2003

AEFA increases its international presence by acquiring Threadneedle, a leading British investment firm.

2002

AEFA acquires Dynamic Ideas, LLC, the quantitative platform RiverSource Investments.

2000

James Cracchiolo becomes President and CEO of AEFA, succeeding David Hubers.

1995

IDS changes its name to American Express Financial Advisors (AEFA).

1994

IDS celebrates 100 year anniversary and reaches $100 billion in assets.

1989

The Alex Alexander award was created in memory of the company’s long-term top producer, Alex M. Alexander. Mr. Alexander led the company in sales for more than 45 years of his 51-year career. His legacy is honored every year as we recognize our top sales leader.

1986

IDS acquires Wisconsin Employers Casualty Company of Green Bay and renames it IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company.

1984

American Express Company acquires IDS for $780 million.

Harvey Golub becomes President and CEO of IDS Financial Services.

1960

Grady Clark becomes president – the only IDS president from the field force. Under Clark’s watch the IDS sales organization evolves into a highly integrated national network.

1957

Investors Syndicate Life Insurance and Annuity Company is formed (renamed IDS Life Insurance Company in 1973).

1949

Investors Syndicate changes its name to Investors Diversified Services.

1946

Ruth Abrahamson joins the company in 1946 and later becomes the number one female sales representative in the country.

1940

Investors Syndicate enters the mutual fund market with Investors Mutual Fund. Investors Stock Fund and Investors Selective fund follow in 1945.

1937

Assets reach $100 million.

1929

During the decade of the Great Depression (1929-1939), Investors Syndicate pays out every dollar on its due date – a total of $101 million to its certificate holders. Assets under management grow from $28 million to $153 million.

Stock market crashes.

1925

West Coast entrepreneur John R. Ridgeway purchases Investors Syndicate from founder John Tappan and his partners.

1914

Assets reach $1 million.

1894

John Tappan, age 24, founds Investors Syndicate.

1,000 people invest $5 each.

1Company data, as of Q1 2019. 
2FORTUNE Magazine, April 30, 2007.
Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser. 
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC.