April 29, 2003

American Express Fund Manager to Retire

April 23, 2003 -- American Express said Bern Fleming, the manager of the AXP Utilities Fund/A (INUTX), plans to retire later this year.

Lawrence Alberts, an analyst who has worked with Fleming since they joined the fund in 1995, has been promoted to co-portfolio manager, and is expected to eventually succeed him, a spokesman for the fund complex said.

Alberts' investment style is "very similar" to Fleming's, the spokesman, Paul Johnson said. He added that Alberts will continue to run the fund as a "conservative utility fund."

The fund was off 3.8% this year through March, compared to a loss of 4% for the average utility fund, and 3.2% for the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index.

For the five years ended last month, the fund was down an average annualized 3.8%, versus a loss of 5.2% for the average utility fund, and of 3.8% for the S&P.

The AXP Utilities fund has total assets of about $1.05 billion.

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