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Ameriprise changes how advisors can access American Funds

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Ameriprise Financial is altering how advisors and their clients can access mutual funds from American Funds.

Starting January 1, the funds will no longer be available in commission-based brokerage accounts. Instead, they will only be available in wrap accounts ― a reversal for how the funds have been offered on Ameriprise's platform.

"We offer thousands of funds from hundreds of firms in order to ensure our clients and advisors have access to a broad, quality investment portfolio to achieve their goals," a spokeswoman says.

She declined to further comment on the reasons behind the policy shift.

The change may affect some of Ameriprise's roughly 9,700 employee and independent advisors more than others, depending on how much they use the funds in commission-based accounts.

Ameriprise's wealth management unit has about $475 billion in client assets, up 13% from the year-ago period, according to the firm's most recent earnings report. The firm reported having $195 billion in wrap accounts, up 19% from the same period a year ago.

Earlier this year, Ameriprise culled about 1,500 funds from its platform in order to comply with the fiduciary rule, leaving about 2,000 offerings on its platform at the time. In April, the Minneapolis-based brokerage firm cut 12b-1 fees from advisory accounts.

Other brokerage firms have also shifted offerings on their investment platforms. In July, LPL Financial unveiled a new mutual fund platform featuring load-waived shares in more than 1,500 funds.

Capital Group owns American Funds, a family of more than 40 mutual funds, according to the company's website. Capital Group's other products include target date funds, variable annuity funds and 529 college savings plans. The Los Angeles-based fund company has more than $1.6 trillion in AUM, according to Capital Group.

A spokesman was not available for immediate comment.

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