At the Lipper Fund Awards in New York on Monday, First American Funds and Principal Financial Group were named best overall mutual fund families for 2005.

For large fund groups, winners in the overall category are chosen from fund groups with at least five stock funds, five bond funds and three balanced funds. For small groups, winners should have at least three stock funds, three bond funds and three balanced funds.

Winners were determined on the basis of a three-year Lipper Leaders consistent return measure, a risk-adjusted return. To qualify as a large manager, funds had to be managing at least $23.8 billion, and fewer than that to qualify as small managers.

First American won the overall award for large managers of assets while Principal won the award for small managers. First American Funds is part of U.S. Bancorp, whose asset-management unit was overseeing more than $123 billion at the end of 2004. Although Principal's parent was managing $168.7 billion as of Dec. 31, the mutual fund unit oversees about $14.2 billion in assets.

Nations Funds, part of Bank of America Corp., took home the best stock fund award, among large managers. Numeric Investors LP, which manages about $9.5 billion, won the same award, among small managers.

Among bond funds, Nuveen Investments, which manages about $115 billion, won among large managers and the Managers Funds won for small managers. Managers is part of Affiliated Managers Group In the mixed equity fund group, First American won for large managers; Principal won for small managers.

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