U.S. Bancorp Fund Managers Head for the Exits

March 25, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - U.S. Bancorp had four fund managers leave this week to "pursue other opportunities."

Brian Bies and Joseph Frohna, who ran U.S. Bancorp’s First American Small Cap Growth Opportunities fund departed from the firm.   Also leaving were Tom Eck and John Potter, who ran the First American Small Cap Select fund, a U.S. Bancorp spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters.  

This comes after the Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp announced in February said that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)    was informally investigating its U.S. Bancorp Asset Management unit because of questionable trading in 2002 in a security held by the Small Cap Growth Opportunities fund. The unit oversaw more than $127 billion of assets as of December 31.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Bancorp stated that the trades are neither related to market timing nor late trading.

U.S. Bancorp hired an outside law firm, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart to review trades, and it says the firm found that no employees at the bank violated securities laws.

As part of the ongoing mutual fund investigation, the SEC and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) have also requesting information about mutual fund trades at Piper Jaffray Cos., which U.S. Bancorp spun off to shareholders in December.