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.

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.

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.

New Columbia Threadneedle Investments brand promise launches.

Launch of Columbia Threadneedle Investments brand.

Ameriprise Financial launches the Confident Retirement® approach.

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

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

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.


 

The company enters the FORTUNE 500® at 297.2

 

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.


 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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.

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

 

American Express Company acquires IDS for $780 million.

Harvey Golub becomes President and CEO of IDS Financial Services.

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.

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

Investors Syndicate changes its name to Investors Diversified Services.

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

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

Assets reach $100 million.

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.

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

Assets reach $1 million.

John Tappan, age 24, founds Investors Syndicate.

1,000 people invest $5 each.