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Columbia-RiverSource to Streamline 62 Fund Offerings

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Columbia Management Group says that it has proposed 62 fund mergers as part of the sale of its long-term asset-management business to RiverSource Investments, which is owned by Ameriprise Financial.

Ameriprise completed its acquisition of Columbia Management’s long-term asset- management business in May. As of June 30, this unit had some $327 billion in assets under management.

“These proposed mergers are an important milestone in the integration of Columbia Management with RiverSource Investments,” said Kevin Connaughton, head of mutual funds for Columbia Management in a press release. “We believe the mergers would strengthen and streamline our product line up while providing fund shareholders and their financial advisors with excellent products and greater cost-efficiency.”

Fund mergers, if approved, are expected to close in the first half of 2011. Other aspects of the integration are expected to be announced this fall.

Previously, the long-term asset-management business of Columbia Management and some of its affiliates were part of Bank of America.

In connection with Ameriprise’s acquisition, certain clients of Columbia Management Advisors, LLC (including the Columbia Funds) now have RiverSource Investments, LLC, known as Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC, as an advisor.

Also, as part of Ameriprise’s acquisition of Columbia Wanger Asset Management LLC, or CWAM, CWAM will continue as the investment adviser for Columbia Acorn and Wanger Funds; no changes are anticipated in the existing investment management team.

For clients using the services of a sub-adviser, those arrangements should continue unless notified otherwise.

RiverSource Fund Distributors, Inc., now known as Columbia Management Investment Distributors Inc., a member of FINRA, will serve as the principal distributor of the Columbia, Wanger, Columbia Acorn, RiverSource, Seligman and Threadneedle branded funds.

RiverSource Service Corporation, now known as Columbia Management Investment Services Corp., will be the transfer agent for the funds.

Ameriprise Financial had some 11,684 financial advisors as of June 30 vs. 12,508 a year ago. It includes some 1,900 Securities America advisors under the direction on CEO Jim Nagengast.