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First American Funds Named Best Overall Fund Group and Best Mixed Equity Fund Group in Lipper Fund Awards 2005; Fund Group Placed First Among Eligible Large U.S. Fund Groups

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 22, 2005--First American Funds announced today that Lipper has named it the "Best Overall" and "Best Mixed Equity" large fund group(a) in the United States for the three-year time period ended Dec. 31, 2004, against other eligible large U.S. fund groups. The awards were presented last night at the Lipper Fund Awards 2005 ceremony in New York City. The awards were accepted by Tom Schreier, president of First American Funds and CEO of the funds' registered investment advisor; Mark Jordahl, chief investment officer; David Chalupnik, head of equities; and Tony Rodriguez, head of fixed income.

Now in their third year, the annual Lipper Fund Awards were presented to eight mutual fund groups (four large and four small) and top funds in 88 categories that have delivered consistently strong, risk-adjusted shareholder returns. For the winners, the Lipper Award is outside validation that they are 'best of class' at delivering shareholder return, according to Lipper.

First American Funds won the "Best Overall" fund award by providing the best three-year, risk-adjusted performance among 31 eligible large fund groups in the United States, according to Lipper. The fund group won the "Best Mixed Equity" award by providing the best three-year, risk-adjusted performance among 32 eligible large fund groups using a combination of stocks and bonds to achieve consistent returns. Lipper determined the fund group awards by averaging Lipper's three-year Consistent Return scores for all of the firm's funds within the asset class, and the eligible group with the lowest average decile rank received the award for that asset class. To be eligible for the "Best Overall" award, a fund group had to have at least five equity, five bond, and three mixed-equity fund portfolios with Consistent Return scores. To be eligible for the "Best Mixed Equity" award, the group had to have three fund portfolios in the asset class that received Consistent Return scores as of Dec. 31, 2004.

Last year, the First American California Tax Free Fund (Class Y) was awarded the Lipper Fund Award 2004(a) in the California Municipal Debt Funds category. The "Best Overall" award was given to American Funds, and the "Best Mixed Equity" award was given to Vanguard.

"Our success this year is a result of the outstanding leadership of Mark Jordahl, David Chalupnik, and Tony Rodriguez," Schreier said. "They have leveraged top-tier portfolio management, fundamental research, and quantitative analysis in an effort to bring our clients consistent, superior, long-term performance on a risk-adjusted basis. This is what our business is all about."

Jordahl adds: "This award comes as validation of our investment process and as recognition for our outstanding mixed-equity funds. I believe that the process we use to uncover opportunity in the investment markets and to test each of our investment decisions is second to none."

About First American Funds

The First American Funds mutual fund family is the 34th-largest(b) fund family in the United States, with more than $56.5 billion(c) in open-end funds, including $34.7 billion in money market funds, $14.1 billion in equity funds, and $7.7 billion in fixed-income funds. The funds are advised by U.S. Bancorp Asset Management.

About First American Funds' Mixed-Equity Funds

Mixed-equity funds at First American Funds consist of four lifecycle funds and one balanced fund that provide the benefits of asset allocation, diversification, and rebalancing in one product. The five funds include:

-- Lifecycle Funds

1) The Strategy Income Allocation Fund
2) The Strategy Growth & Income Allocation Fund
3) The Strategy Growth Allocation Fund
4) The Strategy Aggressive Growth Allocation Fund
-- Balanced Fund
5) The Balanced Fund.

All of these funds offer exposure to stocks and bonds. The four lifecycle funds provide a one-stop investment solution for first-time investors, 401(k), SEP, and SIMPLE plan investors, or for those seeking broad-market exposure. The funds are actively managed by an experienced team and relieve investors from time-consuming asset allocation, portfolio monitoring, and rebalancing responsibilities.

About Lipper

Lipper, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters, is a leading global provider of mutual fund information and analysis to fund companies, financial intermediaries, and media organizations. Lipper clients manage more than 95% of U.S. fund assets. The firm, founded in 1973 and headquartered in New York, tracks 125,000 funds worldwide through its offices in major financial capitals in North America, Europe, and Asia.

(a) Lipper Fund Awards are not intended to predict future results. Although Lipper makes reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained herein, the accuracy is not guaranteed by Lipper. Users acknowledge that they have not relied upon any warranty, condition, guarantee, or representation made by Lipper. Any use of the data for analyzing, managing, or trading financial instruments is at the user's own risk. This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. Lipper is a leading global mutual fund research firm.

(b) Strategic Insight, December 2004

(c) Figures are as of Dec. 31, 2004, and are subject to change.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Each fund's investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses must be considered carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information about First American Funds, and it may be obtained by calling First American Investor Services at 800.677.FUND or visiting firstamericanfunds.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Mutual fund investing involves risk; principal loss is possible. Investing in certain funds involves special risks, such as those related to investments in small- and mid-capitalization stocks, foreign, debt, and high-yield securities, and funds that focus their investments in a particular industry. Please refer to the prospectus for more details pertaining to these risks.

Income from tax-exempt funds may be subject to state and local taxes and a portion of income may be subject to the federal alternative minimum tax for certain investors. Federal income tax rules will apply to any capital gains distributions.

References to other mutual funds should not be interpreted as an offer of these securities.

First American Strategy Income Allocation, Strategy Growth & Income Allocation, Strategy Growth Allocation, and Strategy Aggressive Growth Allocation funds are each a fund of funds comprised of holdings in several different First American Funds, which may include small-cap, mid-cap, large-cap, money-market, international, and/or sector funds. The investment advisor allocates and reallocates the funds' assets among the underlying First American Funds within ranges designed to meet the investment objective. See the prospectus for an illustration of these ranges and special risks, which are associated with the underlying funds.

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 (NYSE:USB) affiliate, nor are they insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, or any other agency.

U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, Inc., serves as the investment advisor to First American Funds. First American Funds are distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC, an affiliate of the investment advisor.

Contacts
First American Funds
Cheryl B. Stone
612-303-5657

"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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