Securities America Advisors Keep An Eye On The Exits, But Ameriprise Will Probably Step Up

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 23:11
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Securities America Advisors Keep An Eye On The Exits, But Ameriprise Will Probably Step Up

Tags: compliance

As it looks more and more likely that the courts will try to make an example of Securities America, many of the firm's 1,800 advisors remain confident that their corporate parent will come in with a save.

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Retention consultants are reportedly in close touch with Securities America's management as the once-thriving broker-dealer reels from what could become $400 million in client claims from private placements gone sour. 

 

At least on that side of the company, the tone still seems hopeful. Ameriprise will probably negotiate a deal somewhere between the maybe $9 million that Securities America has on hand and the $400 million its clients lost and make up the difference from its own accounts.

 

But after that rescue, people familiar with the situation expect Ameriprise to start shopping Securities America around in order to eliminate the risk that something like this will happen again. 

 

"The liability to their brand at this point is just too high for them to want to deal with any more," says one. "By now Ameriprise is considered 'that brokerage that sold the bad investments,' so they will probably make good with clients and then cut the cord."

 

"The firm will survive, but it might not remain under Ameriprise for long."

 

Meanwhile, Securities America advisors are reaching out to recruiters just to see what's out there -- and to cover themselves in the now-relatively-unlikely event that the firm's troubles worsen -- but are also staying positive.

 

"This isn't a tiny firm," one tells me. "There are resources to ensure that even if anyone needs to make a forced transition, it will be orderly."

 

And before that point, while some might be jumping ship, for the rest it seems to be business as usual.

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