Our History

A tradition of commitment since 1894 • a legacy of putting clients first.

Early Investors Syndicate logo


John Tappan, age 24, founds Investors Syndicate.

1,000 people invest $5 each.

Profile image of John Tappan, founder of Investors Syndicate


Assets reach $1 million.

Early Investors Syndicate Certificate


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

Men waiting in line during the Great Depression


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.



Assets reach $100 million.

Investors Mutual Fund logo


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

Ruth Abrahamson, top U.S. sales representative


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

Investors Diversified Services logo


Investors Syndicate changes its name to Investors Diversified Services.

Group of investors from 1957


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

Grady Clark poses next to chart representing $3 billion in sales.


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.

Harvey Golub sitting cross-legged on the floor


American Express Company acquires IDS for $780 million.

Harvey Golub becomes President and CEO of IDS Financial Services.


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

Alex Alexander, top sales representative for 45 years, with a big smile.


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.



Assets reach $100 billion.

Two employees hold a banner in celebration of 100-year anniversary.

IDS celebrates 100-year anniversary.

American Express Financial Advisors logo


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

James Cracchiolo in a business suit.


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


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

Threadneedle logo


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

Ameriprise Financial logo

New York Stock Exchange with Ameriprise Financial banner during NYSE Opening Bell.

Riversource logo


Ameriprise Financial becomes an independent, publicly owned company with more than 12,000 advisors and registered representatives and more than 2.7 million individual, business and institutional clients.

AMP begins trading on NYSE (October 3).

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

Riversource logo

As part of the company’s branch launch, Ameriprise Financial announces the RiverSource brand, covering the product, investment and distribution businesses.



The company introduces our unique Dream > Plan > Track >® client experience.


The company enters the FORTUNE® 5001 at 297.

Seligman Investments logo

H&R Block Financial Advisors logo


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.

Feeding America logo


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

Columbia Management logo


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


Ameriprise Financial owned, managed and administered assets reach $600 billion.

The Confident Retirement triangle shows the four key areas of the Confident Retirement approach: covering essentials, ensuring lifestyle, preparing for the unexpected and leaving a legacy.


Ameriprise Financial earned the second highest trust rating as well as the highest forgiveness rating in investment industry by Temkin Rating. 2

The Confident Retirement triangle shows the four key areas of the Confident Retirement approach: covering essentials, ensuring lifestyle, preparing for the unexpected and leaving a legacy.

Ameriprise Financial launches its exclusive Confident Retirement® approach nationally.


Assets Under Management and Administration exceed $800 billion.


Columbia Threadneedle Investments logo


Launch of Columbia Threadneedle Investments brand.

Be Brilliant logo

New brand platform launches.