10. Sold (finally)! Securities America
It took some doing — and there were real doubts along the way — but Ameriprise eventually managed to find a buyer for sub Securities America. Ladenburg Thalmann agreed in August to purchase the besieged brokerage for $150 million.
The sale marked the end of a long saga for the Ameriprise unit, which was facing large liabilities for the sale of Reg D offerings that later went south. But the approval by a Federal judge of a settlement with litigants paved the way for the Ladenburg buy. Good thing, too, as SIA was seeing significant rep exits before the purchase was announced. As for the deal itself: It may turn out to be a shrewd piece of business for Ladenburg. Said one analyst: “It's basically a mass hiring and they're getting 1,700 brokers for $88,000 each. Under the circumstances, I wouldn't say that's cheap, but it's not bad.”
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