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Ameriprise's Latest IBD Acquisition Provides Dedicated Bank Channel

San Antonio, Texas-based Investment Professionals will be folded into a new channel of advisors dedicated to banks and credit unions.

Just ahead of its first quarter earnings release, Ameriprise Financial announced plans Monday to acquire a San Antonio, Texas-based independent broker/dealer, Investment Professionals, which partners with community banks and credit unions.

The deal adds about 200 advisors operating out of over 140 financial institutions and over $8 billion in assets to Ameriprise’s franchise business.

The firm doesn’t currently have a division dedicated to financial institutions, but the acquisition will provide that. IPI will be folded into a new channel of advisors dedicated to the space.

“IPI has built a good business and we see this as an opportunity to incorporate the best of their capabilities as we expand our presence in the financial institutions market,” said Pat O’Connell, executive vice president, Ameriprise Advisor Group. “We believe this is a market that’s poised for growth.”

IPI recently settled with the Massachusetts Securities Division over charges that it allegedly sold unsuitable investment products to elderly clients, including non-traded REITs, non-traded business development companies and variable annuities. The firm was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine and restitution to four clients. The firm was also required to hire an independent compliance consultant to review its policies and procedures around sales of certain products to clients over the age of 65.

“IPI is pleased to have resolved the complaint brought forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Securities in November,” the firm said in an emailed statement cited by “IPI continues to remain focused on serving our communities and customers.”

Ameriprise declined to comment on the enforcement action.

IPI is the firm’s second acquisition in the IBD space since it sold Securities America to Ladenburg Thalmann in 2011. About two years ago, the firm purchased JHS Capital, a Tampa-based IBD with 150 advisors.

Ameriprise expects the deal to close in the third quarter. Scott Barnes, chairman and founder of IPI, will take on an advisory role to help with the integration and grow the business. Jay McAnelly, president and CEO of IPI, will join Ameriprise, reporting to O’Connell.

“Coupling the resources and product line of Ameriprise with IPI’s community bank culture will open the door to extensive opportunities in the financial institution investment business,” said Barnes.

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