Ameriprise Financial Inc. said its third-quarter profit surged past $1 billion, turning around from a loss in the same period a year ago when investment markets and the broader economy were buffeted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minneapolis-based investment services company's shares rose 3% Wednesday morning after it reported the better-than-expected results. The shares ended the day slightly lower, but they are up more than 60% since the beginning of the year.

"We're generating some of the strongest returns in the industry and have been for quite some time," Jim Cracchiolo, Ameriprise's CEO, said on a call with analysts. "And we're able to do it with lower volatility."

He added that the company is performing well and finding organic growth amid a "largely positive" environment in the U.S.

"Equity markets remain strong and have recovered from a weaker September," he said, while also noting that inflation has picked up and some headwinds remain due to the pandemic.

Ameriprise's wealth and asset management arm delivered about 80% of its adjusted profits in the quarter, driven by strong client inflows, higher transactional activity, market appreciation and expense management.

The firm earned $1.03 billion, or $8.65 a share, in the third quarter, compared to a loss of $140 million a year ago. Its total revenue declined a bit to $2.91 billion.

The company saw about $14 billion in net inflows in advice and wealth management as well as in asset management, an increase from a year ago.

Assets under management and administration grew 21% to $1.2 trillion driven by strong client flows and market appreciation.

While Cracchiolo had noted a few months ago that the firm had seen recruiting slow a bit amid uncertainty about the pandemic, he said Wednesday that it picked up in the most recent quarter with the company adding 104 advisers, increasing its overall adviser count by 2%.

Ameriprise's $845 million acquisition of BMO Financial Group's Europe, Middle East and Africa asset-management business is expected to close in the coming weeks.