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Several First American Funds Merge

MINNEAPOLIS, March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Board of Directors of First American Funds announced today that the merger of the following First American Funds has been finalized following approval of shareholders on March 13 and unanimous approval of the Board of Directors on Dec. 4, 2002. Following are the funds that are merging:

            First American Fund Merger Summary

    Fund to Merge                  Surviving Fund
    Large Cap Growth Fund          Large Cap Growth Opportunities Fund
    Health Sciences Fund           Large Cap Growth Opportunities Fund
    Mid Cap Growth Fund            Mid Cap Growth Opportunities Fund
    Small Cap Growth Fund          Small Cap Select Fund
    Emerging Markets Fund          International Fund
    Bond IMMDEX(TM) Fund           Core Bond Fund
    High Yield Bond Fund           High Income Bond Fund

The investment objective of each merging fund is identical or substantially similar to that of the corresponding surviving fund. The principal investment strategies and risk factors of each merging fund, with the exception of Health Sciences Fund, are similar to those of the corresponding surviving fund. Thus, the merger of the funds could potentially eliminate shareholder confusion over products that may be considered duplicative.

The fund mergers are intended to qualify as tax-free reorganizations, with merger expenses borne by U.S. Bancorp Asset Management.

Goals of merging the funds include the potential for improved performance and reduced operating expenses. "By better focusing our resources, we believe we maximize our opportunity to produce superior investment performance," explained Mark Jordahl, chief investment officer of U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, the funds' registered investment advisor.

Jordahl added that the increased asset sizes of the surviving funds may allow them to engage in investment transactions on potentially more advantageous terms.

The fund mergers are part of a larger initiative announced last November by the firm. "The strategic changes announced last fall are driven by our firm's continuing objectives to improve the performance of our fund complex and enhance service to high-net-worth clients," explained Tom Schreier, chief executive officer of U.S. Bancorp Asset Management. "The changes are in line with our firm's performance-driven, independent-style culture and commitment to provide superior, long-term performance and service to 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. It is advised by U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, the 37th-largest asset manager domiciled in the United States.

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

U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, Inc., also 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, 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 (NYSE: USB) is the parent company of U.S. Bank.

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 800.677.FUND, or visit firstamericanfunds.com . Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest or send money.

Mutual fund investing involves risk; principal loss is possible. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The principal value and investment return of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

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

Investment products, including shares of mutual funds, are not obligations of, or guaranteed by, any bank, including U.S. Bank or any U.S. Bancorp affiliate, nor are they insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board or any other agency. An investment in such products involves investment risk, including possible loss of principal.

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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