Ameriprise, hot off a hiring frenzy, guts recruiting staff

In a restructuring effort aimed at bringing in more independent reps, the brokerage has fired 13 cold callers and forced 10 other recruiters to reapply for more demanding roles

Nov 2, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

By Bruce Kelly

After recruiting some 500 reps so far this year, Ameriprise Financial Inc. is gutting and rebuilding its recruiting staff as part of an effort to bring in more independent reps.

On Oct. 13, Ameriprise showed the door to 13 cold callers who focused on recruits who were leaving careers to become advisers. The manager of the cold calling unit, Andy Effron, was also laid off. Mr. Effron did not respond to a phone call to comment.

The brokerage firm is also requiring 10 other recruiters to reapply for jobs that that will entail greater responsibility and require more travel.

Ameriprise is realigning its recruiting strategy, said Manish Dave, senior director and vice president of business development.

“We're beefing up resources to grow our [independent] platform after a pretty good year” of recruiting across the firm, he said.

After the restructuring, the firm intends to have the same number of recruiters as it did before laying off the cold callers, Mr. Dave said.

Matt Kelley, formerly in charge of nine recruiters, is one of three new divisional vice presidents, with two other vice presidents to be added shortly, Mr. Dave said.

The move to eliminate the cold-calling group came as a surprise to some, as it had been up and running for about six months, industry sources said.

The changes are even more shocking, perhaps, as Ameriprise has been successfully snagging new talent at a considerable clip. In 2009, the company's Advisor's Group, which includes both employee and independent reps and advisers, has recruited 500 brokers, with 75% of these brokers going to the employee channel.

Ameriprise also added 1,067 advisers when it completed the acquisition of H&R Block Financial Advisors one year ago. In total, the firm has 12,580 reps and advisers across its network.

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