According to Registered Rep. online, Ameriprise needs to find a buyer for Securities America in a hurry. The firm is facing the potential of mass defections of advisors, particularly its best producers, in which case its value will be damaged even further. Any buyer would have to be substantial enough to absorb SAI and the firm most likely will be sold at a steep discount due to Securities America’s recent problems and a proposed financial settlement of a class action suit filed by investors who claim SAI sold allegedly fraudulent private placements from Medical Capital Holdings and Provident Royalties.
Securities America currently has 1,800 advisors and about $26.3 billion in total client assets as of the end of the first quarter. A sale of the firm may well be the largest deal ever of an independent broker-dealer. There is some speculation that foreign banks or financial services firms might be interested to gain an instant foothold in the U.S. market. Among the insurers, Metlife or Securian are speculated to be interested purchasers. With the insecurity facing so many advisors, it may be a ripe opportunity for RIAs in markets where Securities America currently operates.