Ameriprise Financial's April acquisition of Columbia Management is paying off for owners of its mutual funds.

Minneapolis-based Ameriprise announced Tuesday that fund mergers, fee reductions and the combining of mutual fund boards should save fund shareholders approximately $30 million per year.

After acquiring Boston-based Columbia, Ameriprise managed more than 200 mutual funds, including its RiverSource funds. Since then, Ameriprise has proposed merging 71 funds, including nine mergers suggested this week.

The consolidations mean fewer fees thanks to economies of scale.

Ameriprise also wants to merge the boards of the two fund families into a 16-person board chaired by Stephen R. Lewis Jr., current RiverSource Funds chair and a former president of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.

Fund shareholders will vote on these proposals in early 2011.

The spring decision to replace the RiverSource mutual fund name with the Columbia brand was implemented this week. The RiverSource name will be retained for insurance and annuity products.

KARA MCGUIRE