NU Online News Service, July 19, 2004, 3:48 p.m. EDT

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, Wis., has merged its fund families.[@@]

The newly merged fund family, the Thrivent Mutual Funds family, includes 12 stock funds, 7 bond funds and 1 balanced fund.

Aid Association for Lutherans merged with Lutheran Brotherhood to form Thrivent in January 2002. Thrivent ended up with 2 overlapping mutual fund families.

The fund family merger has reduced the total number of funds to 20, from 28, Thrivent says.

In May, Thrivent merged the Aid Association and Lutheran Brotherhood investment portfolios that serve as the basis for its variable annuity and variable universal life insurance products.

In a related move, Thrivent says it is turning to outside companies to act as subadvisors for some of its stock portfolios. The outside companies, T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., Baltimore, and Mercator Asset Management L.P., Boca Raton, Fla., will manage stocks for the Thrivent Partner International Stock Fund, the Thrivent Partner International Stock Portfolio, the Thrivent Partner Small-Cap Value Fund and the Thrivent Partner Small-Cap Value Portfolio.