The AAL Mutual Funds and LB Family of Mutual Funds are no more. The two fund brands finished their merger creating the Thrivent Mutual Funds two-and-half years after the Aid Association for Lutherans and Lutheran Brotherhood merged on January 1, 2002. Both of the fund groups had been advised by Minneapolis-based Thrivent Investment Management, which was itself created at the time of the merger of the AAL and Lutheran Brotherhood.
The merger of the funds themselves involved both a reshaping of the two families' boards and an elimination of overlapping funds, said Paul Kelash a spokesperson for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
As part of the changes, Thrivent Investment Management also hired T. Rowe Price
and Mercator Asset Management
as subadvisors to the Thrivent Partner International Stock Fund
, the Thrivent Partner International Stock Portfolio
and the Thrivent Partner Small-Cap Value Fund and
the Thrivent Partner Small-Cap Value Portfolio
Another key change at the fund complex was a streamlining of the board overseeing the funds.
With one exception, all seven of the independent directors from the two fund family boards hold seats on the Thrivent Mutual Funds board, said Kelash. The exception is Larry Woods, who retired at the time of the merger in 2001. The eighth and sole non-independent director for the new fund group is Pam Moret
, executive vice president of marketing and products at Thrivent Investment Management and board president.
With seven of the eight seats held by independent directors, Kelash noted that the funds exceeded the new SEC requirements.
In addition 13 funds in the two families took on new names and another seven funds merged.
"We had some duplication of funds previously, but now we have a line-up that meets the needs of our members and provides streamlined governance and oversight of funds that leverage the Thrivent Financial brand," explained Bruce Nicholson
, president and chief executive officer of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
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