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Rating:Scandals Force Four Fund Managers from U.S. Bancorp Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, March 26, 2004

Scandals Force Four Fund Managers from U.S. Bancorp

by: Caitlin  Pickall

Four fund managers left U.S. Bancorp Monday in wake of an SEC inquiry into trading activity in the firm's funds.

Joseph Frohna, 39, and Brian Bies, 30 managed the First American Small Cap Growth Opportunities Fund. Activity in the fund is the subject of an ongoing informal inquiry by the SEC. John Potter, 34, and Tom Eck, 37, managed the First American Small Cap Select Fund. All four managers worked in the Milwaukee office of U.S. Bancorp Asset Management.

Bancorp announced internally on March 10, 2004 that the fundsí operations were being moved to Minneapolis, said spokeswoman Cheryl Stone. The decision was made "to integrate the two funds into the management and oversight structure of headquarters," Stone said. They began operating in Minneapolis on Tuesday.

Some employees were offered the opportunity to transfer to Minneapolis. Stone was unable to say whether that offer was extended to the four departing managers.

Interim portfolio managers are running the two funds. David Lettenberger is interim lead manager of the Small Cap Growth Opportunities fund, and Barry Randall as core manager for the fund. Both men have experience managing small cap growth funds at Bancorp. Dave Chalupnik, head of equities at Bancorp, will be interim manager of the Small Cap Select fund with Lettenberger as core manager.

Stone said the firm is currently searching for permanent managers for the funds. She declined to comment on the use of a consultant or the expected duration of the search process.  

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