U.S. Trust Corp. and Washington Mutual Inc. managed the top-performing U.S. equity mutual funds among banks in the second quarter, according to data from CDA/Wiesenberger, Rockville, Md.

The leader was U.S. Trust's Excelsior Large Cap Growth Fund, which returned 10.22% during the second quarter. The performance helped it hit $65.3 million of assets under management at June 30.

Launched in September, the fund, managed by the New York bank's Campbell Cowperthwait division, was up 32.11% for the first half. Its top holdings include several technology stocks, such as Cisco Systems and Dell Computer Corp.

Ranked second and third were the A and B share classes, respectively, of Washington Mutual Inc.'s WM Growth Fund, which have a combined $147.5 million of assets under management.

The WM Growth Funds are subadvised by Janus Capital Corp., Denver. For the second quarter the A shares-which are sold with front-end loads- returned 10.08%. The B shares-back-end load funds-were up 9.86%. For the first half they increased by 30.09% and 29.60%, respectively.

Growth funds and growth and income funds dominated the domestic equity rankings, in line with a trend in the industry at large. Indeed, only four of the top 50 performers fell into other categories: two technology funds, an aggressive growth fund, and a small-cap fund.

Northern Trust Corp.'s Northern Technology Fund snared the No. 4 slot. The fund, launched in April 1996, had $129.5 million of assets under management as of June 30. It is managed by vice president John Leo.

Though Asia's economic woes caused a "slump" for companies that make semiconductor capital equipment and concern arose early in the year that personal computers suffered from inventory buildups, Mr. Leo said Internet- related companies, such as America Online and Yahoo!, provided a counterbalance.

Ranked fifth was Norwest Advantage Large Company Growth Fund, which had $263.4 million of assets as of June 30.

The fund is managed by John S. Dale, senior vice president of Peregrine Capital Management, a Minneapolis subsidiary of Norwest Corp. Mr. Dale began the growth investing style for Norwest in the 1980s; the company now has more than $1.2 billion in growth fund assets. On a composite basis, Mr. Dale said, the funds have "never had a down year."

The Large Company Growth Fund favors stocks with long-term growth such as Microsoft, Intel, Home Depot, Pfizer, T. Rowe Price, Charles Schwab & Co., and Cintas, which rents and sells uniforms.

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