Firstar Corp., Milwaukee, is joining the ranks of banks changing the names of their proprietary mutual funds.

Starting Feb. 1, the bank's Portico Funds will be known as the Firstar Funds.

There are 18 funds in the family, ranging from money market to international funds. Assets total $5.2 billion.

"It's been an initiative we've been interested in accomplishing for the past several years, but the regulatory climate did not appear to allow us to do so," said Mary Ellen Stanek, president of Firstar Investment Research and Management Co., the bank's investment advisory subsidiary. "We've spent a great deal of time explaining who Portico is and how it is tied to Firstar and Firmco as the adviser."

In 1993 and 1994 bank regulators loosened regulations about banks' putting their own names on their funds. Wachovia, NationsBank Corp., and Citicorp are among those that have renamed funds in response to the change.

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