Liberty Funds Group of Boston announced that it is merging the equity trading functions of its mutual fund groups - Stein Roe Mutual Funds of Chicago and Colonial Management Associates of Boston - so that trades for both fund families will be done from one central location.

The merger will mean that all securities trades for both fund groups will be executed off of one trading desk, said Lisa Sassone, a spokesperson for Liberty Funds Group. The operation will be based in Chicago and should be operating by early next year, she said.

The trading functions are being merged to take advantage of the fact that Liberty Funds Group commands "more clout" in the industry than the two individual fund families alone, said Sassone.

The merger is also being done to create one central desk with an even workflow. Under the current system, one of the two firms' trading desks can be busy when the other is relatively idle, Sassone said.

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