Study up on how to use the kerning features in After Effects. It's in the help files. It's the same as the basic typography skills and the same shortcuts for Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design and every app I've ever used from Adobe that allows you to Kern the type.
You use the arrow keys to move between the letters, then hold down the appropriate modifier key and use a left or right arrow key or drag the kerning value to get the look you want. A good place to start would be to select all the text and set the kerning to zero and see what you get.
Amazing! You saved me so much time! thanks a million!