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The April issue of Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence was sent out to subscribers on Monday morning. The latest edition of our flagship monthly newsletter features the articles: "More Talk, No Action Yet on Pending MMF Reforms," which reviews recent SEC speeches and comments on pending regulations; "Plaze Says Doing Nothing Better Than SEC Proposals," which interviews Stroock Partner and former SEC Deputy Director Bob Plaze; and, "Global MF Growth Led by China, US; EU Buffer Dies," which reviews the growth of global money fund markets. We also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with March 31, 2014, performance statistics and rankings this morning, and we sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet earlier. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are available to subscribers at our Content center.) Our March 31 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings data are scheduled to go out on Wednesday, April 9.
The latest MFI newsletter's lead article comments, "The debate over pending money market fund regulatory reforms escalated over the past month, as the SEC, media outlets and mutual fund companies all weighed in again on the matter. SEC Chair Mary Jo White made some comments and the SEC staff released a set of studies on technical issues, while fund companies and consultants added more comment letters to the SEC's website. Plus, The Wall Street Journal appeared to tweak banking regulators by claiming that the SEC would widely broaden exemptions from the floating NAV. While nobody knows when we'll get the final rules and what form they'll take yet, recent comments indicate that they aren't yet imminent."
The article explains, "SEC Chair White's most recent comments on the topic gave little indication of when we might see pending money market fund reforms and what form they might take. White was asked about money fund reform at a Chamber of Commerce event two weeks ago. She commented, "[W]e are ... actively involved and proceeding to the adopting phase. We have taken a very in-depth look at all the impacts of the two alternative proposals that we can proceed with, or in combination. We have gotten extensive, invaluable comments on this. We are very sensitive to preserving the product as part of this process. But what we are obviously focused on is what happened during the financial crisis and the heightened redemptions in prime institutional funds."
The "profile" with Stroock's Plaze says, "This month MFI interviews Robert Plaze, a Partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, and the former Deputy Director of the Division of Investment Management at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Plaze, who left the SEC in early 2013, has been involved in regulatory issues involving money market mutual funds for three decades. He is partially responsible for writing much of the existing Rule 2a-7 regulations. Our Q&A follows."
We ask Plaze, "MFI: How long have you been involved in money fund issues? Plaze: I first got involved in the late 1980's. I was there when the first bailout requests came in to the Division. I was in the room when more senior Division Staff were trying to figure out how to deal with them, and I saw the look of concern on everyone's faces. No one knew what might happen if a fund broke the buck, and no one wanted to find out. It was the closest thing I had ever seen at the time to a crisis, because everyone was extraordinarily worried about the prospect of a fund breaking the dollar. Shortly after, I became an Assistant Director in the Division and went on to draft the 1991, 1996, and the 2010 Amendments to 2(a)-7. During that period my staff and I handled all requests for no-action by fund sponsors to bailout their money market funds. (Watch for excerpts of this interview later this month, or write us to request the full article.)
The February MFI article on Global MF Growth Led by China, US; EU Buffer Dies explains, "Last Wednesday, the ICI released its latest data on "Worldwide Mutual Fund Assets," which shows that global money market mutual fund assets grew by $67.4 billion in Q4'13 to $4.760 trillion. This follows a sharp rebound in Q3'13, when "cash" funds grew by $197.9B. (MMF assets have declined by $33.4 billion over the past year, though.) The latest quarterly growth was led by large increases in Chinese and U.S. MMFs.."
Crane Data's April MFI with March 31, 2014 data shows total assets falling by $25.9 billion (falling by $44.9 billion last month) to $2.574 trillion (1,238 funds, the same number as last month. Our broad Crane Money Fund Average 7-Day Yield and 30-Day Yield remained at a record low 0.01% while our Crane 100 Money Fund Index (the 100 largest taxable funds) yielded 0.02% (7-day and 30-day). On a Gross Yield Basis (before expenses were taken out), funds averaged 0.13% (Crane MFA, unchanged) and 0.16% (Crane 100) on an annualized basis for both the 7-day and 30-day yield averages. (Charged Expenses averaged 0.12% and 0.14% for the two main taxable averages.) The average WAM for the Crane MFA and the Crane 100 were 43 and 46 days, respectively, down 2 days and one day, respectively. (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)
The March issue of Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence was sent out to subscribers on Friday morning. The latest edition of our flagship monthly newsletter features the articles: "Commissioners Push Alternatives in Reform Debate," which reviews recent SEC comments on pending regulations; "Federated Investors Debbie Cunningham," which interviews Federated's CIO for Global Money Markets; and, "Cash Breaks $10 Trillion; Deposits Continue Surging," which reviews the continued growth in bank deposits. We also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with Feb. 28, 2014, performance statistics and rankings last night, and we sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet earlier. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are available to subscribers at our Content center.) Our February 28 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings data are scheduled to go out on Tuesday, March 11.
The latest MFI newsletter's lead article comments, "After SEC Chair White indicated last month that completing money fund regulatory reforms is a "critical priority for the Commission in the relatively near term of 2014," several other SEC Commissioners have weighed in on the topic in recent speeches. Commissioner Michael Piwowar told the Wall Street Journal that he advocated letting investors choose between a floating NAV and a gates and fees option, while Commissioners Gallagher and Stein blasted and defended the FSOC, respectively. Meanwhile, meetings and lobbying over the pending regulations continues."
As we wrote in our March 4 CraneData.com News , "The Journal commented late last week: As U.S. securities regulators move to finalize long-awaited rules aimed at reducing risks to the $2.7 trillion money-market mutual-fund industry, one official wants investors to have greater choice in the types of funds in which they can invest."
The "profile" with Federated's Cunningham says, "This month MFI interviews Federated Investors' Executive VP & CIO for Global Money Markets Deborah Cunningham. Our Q&A follows. MFI: Tell us about your history. Cunningham: From Federated's perspective, we've been involved in running cash since the beginning of time. We now have the oldest registered money market fund on the books of the SEC, Federated Money Market Management. It has 40+ years of history at this point. We ran cash before we even had funds, so we had risk-averse strategies from the very beginning."
Cunningham's intro continues, "As far as our historical involvement in the money fund industry, we've been involved in every step of the process, from the original exemptive orders that led to amortized cost, to the first go-round of 2a-7, to the '92 amendments, the '96 amendments, the 2010 amendments, etc.... I started at Federated in 1981, and began in our accounting department. I moved in to the Investment Management and began actively involved in the team management process for the money funds in 1986." (Watch for excerpts of this interview later this month, or write us to request the full article.)
The February MFI article on Cash Breaking $10 Trillion explains, "The latest Federal Reserve statistics show that bank deposits, the main competitor of money funds and main beneficiary of the financial crisis, continue to surge, even following last year's expiration of unlimited FDIC insurance. Overall cash, including bank deposits (in banks and thrifts), money fund assets and small time deposits, broke above the $10 trillion level late last year for the first time in history."
Crane Data's March MFI with Feb. 28, 2014 data shows total assets falling by $44.9 billion (after rising by $561 million last month) to $2.574 trillion (1,238 funds, the same number as last month. Our broad Crane Money Fund Average 7-Day Yield and 30-Day Yield remained at a record low 0.01% while our Crane 100 Money Fund Index (the 100 largest taxable funds) yielded 0.02% (7-day and 30-day). On a Gross Yield Basis (before expenses were taken out), funds averaged 0.13% (Crane MFA, down one bps) and 0.16% (Crane 100) on an annualized basis for both the 7-day and 30-day yield averages. (So Charged Expenses averaged 0.12% and 0.14% for the two main taxable averages.) The average WAM and WAL for the Crane MFA and the Crane 100 were 45 and 47 days, respectively, unchanged from last month. (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)
Preparations are underway for Crane Data's 6th annual Money Fund Symposium, which will be held June 23-25, 2014 at The Renaissance Boston Waterfront. The Agenda and the brochure are now available via PDF and on the Symposium website (www.moneyfundsymposium.com), and we are now accepting registrations ($750) and hotel reservations. (Brochures were recently e-mailed to past attendees and Crane Data subscribers, but contact us at email@example.com to request the full one.) Last year's Money Fund Symposium in Baltimore attracted over 450 attendees and over 30 sponsors and exhibitors, making it the world's largest annual gathering of money fund and money market professionals. Participants include money fund managers, marketers and servicers, cash investors, money market securities dealers, issuers, and regulators.
After an initial "Welcome to Money Fund Symposium 2014" by Peter Crane, President & Publisher of Crane Data, this year's agenda in Boston will start the afternoon of June 23 with the keynote speech "Money Market Funds - Past & Future" by Fidelity Investment's Nancy Prior. The opening afternoon will also feature: "Strategists Speak '14: Fed Taper, Repos, Regs" with Brian Smedley of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Joseph Abate of Barclays , and Garret Sloan of Wells Fargo Securities. This will be followed by a panel entitled, "The Growing Role of Online Trading Portals," moderated by Dave Agostine of Cachematrix and including: Greg Fortuna of State Street's Fund Connect, Justin Meadows of MyTreasury, and Jonathan Spirgel of BNY Mellon Liquidity Services. The first day will close with a panel, moderated by Fitch Ratings' Roger Merrritt entitled, "Major Money Fund Issues 2013," featuring Charlie Cardona of BNY Mellon CIS/Dreyfus, Andrew Linton of J.P. Morgan A.M., and Steve Meier of State Street. The opening reception will be sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Day 2 of Money Fund Symposium features: "The State of The Money Market Fund Industry" with Peter Crane of Crane Data, Debbie Cunningham of Federated Investors, and Alex Roever of J.P. Morgan Securities; "Senior Portfolio Manager Perspectives," moderated by Joel Friedman of Standard & Poor's Ratings and including Rich Mejzak of BlackRock, Rob Sabatino of UBS Global Asset Management, and John Tobin of J.P. Morgan Asset Management; "Government MF Issues & Repo Update," with Andrew Hollenhorst of Citi, Marques Mercier of Invesco, and Mike Bird of Wells Fargo Advantage Funds; and "Treasury Dept. on FRNs & Risk Agenda" with U.S. Department of the Treasury's Matt Rutherford.
The afternoon of Day 2 (after a Dreyfus-sponsored lunch) features: "Dealer Panel: Supply Outlook, New Products," moderated by Dave Sylvester of Wells Fargo Funds and featuring Chris Condetta of Barclays, John Kodweis of J.P. Morgan Securities, and Jean-Luc Sinniger of Citi Global Markets; "Accounting Issues, Disclosure & Floating NAVs," with Chris May of PriceWaterhouseCoopers; "Enhanced Cash, ETF & Ultra‐Short Bond Growth," with Alex Roever of J.P. Morgan Securities, Jonathan Carlson of BofA Global Capital Management, and Peter Yi of Northern Trust; and, "European & Global Money Fund Outlook" with Jonathon Curry of HSBC Global Asset Management and Dan Morrissey of William Fry. (The Day 2 reception is sponsored by Barclays.)
The third day of Symposium features: "Money Fund Reforms A Look at the Final Rule," with Stephen Keen of Reed Smith and Jack Murphy of Dechert LLP; "Regulatory Roundtable: Discussing New Rules" with Jane Heinrichs of the Investment Company Institute, Kevin Meagher of Fidelity, and Sarah ten Siethoff of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission; and, "Corporate Cash Investor Issues & Alternatives, with Tony Carfang of Treasury Strategies, Lance Pan of Capital Advisors, and Jamie Cortas of EMC Corp. Finally, the last session is entitled, "FDIC, Brokerage & Retail MMF Update," and features Rick Holland of Charles Schwab, Ted Hamilton of Promontory Interfinancial Network, and Tim Schiltz of Ameriprise Financial.
Money Fund Symposium 2014 promises to be "the" place to be for money market professionals -- register and reserve your spot today! Exhibit space for Money Fund Symposium is $3,000; and sponsorship opportunities are $4.5K, $6K, $7.55K, and $10K. Finally, our next "offshore" money fund event, European Money Fund Symposium, is scheduled for Sept. 22-23, 2014 in London, England, and our next Crane's Money Fund University is scheduled for Jan. 22-23, 2015, in Stamford, Conn. We hope to see you in Boston in June!
The February issue of Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence was sent out to subscribers Friday. The latest edition of our flagship monthly newsletter features the articles: "Final SEC Regs Coming Soon, But Still Unclear If Combo," which predicts that Money Market Fund Reforms may arrive as early as late March; "Capital Advisors Group's Campbell & Pan Talk SMAs," which interviews the founder of and the director of research for a boutique cash and separate account manager; and, "Focus on Treasury: New FRNs & Debt Ceiling Redux," which reviews the Treasuries new floating rate securities and the latest debt ceiling debate. We also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with Jan. 31, 2014, performance statistics and rankings, and sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Friday. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are available to subscribers at our Content center.) Our January 31 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings data are scheduled to go out on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
The latest MFI newsletter's lead article comments, "While most money fund professionals expect the SEC's pending final Money Market Fund Reforms to arrive late in the second quarter or even Q3 of this year (most also expect the "combination" of floating NAV and emergency fees with gates), we think recent comments from SEC Chair Mary Jo White may mean it could get here as soon as the end of March. But recent comments from another Commissioner indicate that the choice of possible alternatives has likely not been finalized yet."
As we wrote in our Jan. 28 CraneData.com News and quoted in MFI, SEC Chair White said recently on the pending reforms, "We have received hundreds of letters on the proposals with a wide range of differing views that we are reviewing closely. Completing these reforms with a final rule is a critical priority for the Commission in the relatively near term of 2014."
The "profile" with Capital Advisors says, "This month, MFI interviews Capital Advisors Group's Ben Campbell, President & CEO, and Lance Pan, Director of Investment Research & Strategy. We discuss their business, and issues in the money markets, the separately managed account space, and the area just beyond money market funds. Our Q&A follows."
Our interview asks, "MFI: How long has Capital Advisors been running cash?" Campbell answers, "We started in 1991 as an "outsourced" investment management solution for treasurers. Our focus was then and is now managing separate accounts for institutional cash investors. As we've gone through different credit and investment cycles, we've seen the need for and developed credit and risk management products in response to inquiries from treasurers. We began by providing credit analysis of securities and portfolios, which although separate from our invest management business, drew upon our strong research and portfolio management capabilities." (Watch for excerpts of this interview later this month, or write us to request the full article.)
The February MFI article on Treasury FRNs explains, "The U.S. Treasury was a bigger focus than usual for the money markets this month as the agency launched its new floating rate securities and as another game of chicken over the debt ceiling looms. We don't know yet how much of the new FRN note was purchased by money funds, but we'll have our first glimpse from our Jan. 31 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings [tomorrow and Wednesday]."
Crane Data's February MFI with Jan. 31, 2014 data shows total assets rising by $561 million to $2.619 trillion (1,238 funds, five more than last month). Our broad Crane Money Fund Average 7-Day Yield and 30-Day Yield remained at a record low 0.01% while our Crane 100 Money Fund Index (the 100 largest taxable funds) yielded 0.02% (7-day and 30-day). On a Gross Yield Basis (before expenses were taken out), funds averaged 0.14% (Crane MFA) and 0.16% (Crane 100) on an annualized basis for both the 7-day and 30-day yield averages. (So Charged Expenses averaged 0.13% and 0.14% for the two main taxable averages.) The average WAM and WAL for the Crane MFA and the Crane 100 were 45 and 47 days, respectively, up from 43 and 46 days last month. (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)
Finally, on Friday we also released the Agenda and brochure for our main conference event, Crane's Money Fund Symposium, which will take place June 23-25, 2014 <b:>`_ at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. Our 6th annual Symposium should again attract the largest audience of money market professionals in the world. (We're estimating almost 500 for our Boston show.) Registrations and sponsorships are now being accepted for our 2014 Symposium. Our second annual "offshore" event, European Money Fund Symposium, is scheduled for Sept. 22-23 in London (watch for this agenda later this month), and our next "basic training" Crane's Money Fund University, will take place Jan. 22-23, 2015, in Stamford, Conn.