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First American Small Cap Growth Opportunities Fund Debuts New Name Jan. 31 After Reopening in December

Joe Frohna continues as lead manager, Brian Bies joins fund as co-manager

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The First American Small Cap Growth Opportunities Fund (formerly the First American Micro Cap Fund - FRMPX) debuted its new name January 31 after reopening to new investors Dec. 16, 2002. The fund, which has been closed since July 31, 2001, had assets of more than $297 million (all share classes) as of Dec. 31, 2002. With a 15.13 percent return for the trailing five years ended Dec. 31, 2002, the fund's Y-class shares ranked third against a total of 220 funds categorized as small- cap growth funds by Lipper. This put the Y-class shares in the second percentile versus funds in Lipper's small-cap growth category.

"The recent and past success of the Small Cap Growth Opportunities Fund can be attributed to sound bottom-up fundamental and valuation analysis in conjunction with the identification of top-down themes within the overall economy and market," said David Chalupnik, head of equities at U.S. Bancorp Asset Management. "The reopening of the fund provides investors with a competitive investment opportunity."

Joe Frohna, CPA, CFA, has managed the First American Small Cap Growth Opportunities Fund since September 1997. In 2001, Barron's named him the No. 2 portfolio manager in the United States and the No. 6 portfolio manager in 2002. This month, Brian Bies, CFA, joined Frohna as a co-manager of the fund. Bies has been an analyst for the fund since 2001.

Fund Maintains Investment Approach

On Dec. 16, 2002, the First American Small Cap Growth Opportunities Fund broadened its eligible investment universe to include companies with market capitalizations in the range of companies in the Russell 2000 Index (approximately $8 million to $1.8 billion). Previously, the fund was generally limited to investing in companies with market capitalizations under $500 million.

"Despite the increase in market cap opportunities, the fund's investment approach will not change, and it will continue to have a market capitalization generally lower than the average small-cap growth fund," said Portfolio Manager Joe Frohna. "This will make it possible to offer investors a competitive diversification vehicle for the small-cap portion of their portfolios."

Fund Performance

Performance of the First American Small Cap Growth Opportunities Fund as of Dec. 31, 2002:

     Small Cap Growth Funds                                           Since

     Fund/Benchmark          1-Year       3-Year        5-Year     Inception
     (8/1/1995)
     Small Cap Growth
       Opportunities
       Fund* (Y)            -25.59         -4.35        15.13         21.86
     Russell 2000 Growth    -30.26        -21.11        -6.59         -0.87
     Lipper Average         -29.68        -16.90        -2.15          2.72
     Lipper % Ranking
      Against Small-Cap
      Growth Funds            29th           7th          2nd           2nd
     Number of Funds           445           330          220           106

*Prior to 1/22/03, the First American Small Cap Growth Opportunities Fund was known as the First American Micro Cap Fund.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. The principal value of an investment and investment return will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

The 1999 returns of the First American Small Cap Growth Opportunities Fund were higher due in substantial part to its strategy of investing in IPOs in a period favorable for IPO investing. Of course, such favorable returns involve accepting the risk of volatility, and there is no assurance that the fund's future investment in IPOs will have the same effect on performance as it did in 1999. Stocks of micro-capitalization companies involve substantial risk. These stocks historically have experienced greater price volatility than stocks of larger companies, and they may be expected to do so in the future.

Lipper Analytical Services, Inc. is an independent mutual fund research and rating service. Each Lipper Average represents a universe of funds with similar investment objectives. Rankings for the periods shown are based on fund total returns with dividends and distributions reinvested and do not reflect sales charges.

Russell 2000 Growth Index is an unmanaged index that measures the performance of those companies in the Russell 2000 Index with higher price-to- book ratios and higher forecasted growth values.

About U.S. Bancorp Asset Management

With more than $113 billion* in assets under management, U.S. Bancorp Asset Management is the 42nd largest asset manager in the world and one of the nation's leading money managers to institutions and individuals. The firm provides portfolio management to corporations, public entities, nonprofit and other institutions, as well as advising the First American family of mutual funds and providing customized portfolio management for private clients.

About First American Funds

The First American Funds family of mutual funds is the fifth-largest bank- affiliated mutual fund family in the United States.

* Total assets listed as of Dec. 31, 2002

For a prospectus containing more complete information on First American Funds, including investment policies, fees and expenses, please contact your investment professional, call First American Funds investor services at 1-800- 677-FUND, or visit us on the web at www.firstamericanfunds.com . Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest or send money.

Based in Minneapolis, U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, Inc., is a subsidiary of U.S. Bank National Association. It provides investment management services to individuals and institutions - including corporations, foundations, pension funds, public funds and retirement plans - which had combined assets under management of more than $113 billion as of Dec. 31, 2002. The firm has offices in 22 states.

U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Bank National Association ("U.S. Bank"), serves as the investment advisor to the First American Funds. U.S. Bank is a separate entity and wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), the eighth-largest financial services holding company in the United States and a leading provider of comprehensive banking, trust, investment and payment systems products and services. U.S. Bancorp is the parent company of U.S. Bank.

First American Funds are distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC, an affiliate of the investment advisor.

SOURCE U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, Inc.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding U.S. Bancorp's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.



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