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The July issue of Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence was sent out to subscribers on Tuesday morning. The latest edition of our flagship monthly newsletter features the articles: MMF Reform Regulations Delayed; Stalemate Part II?," which discusses the delay and possible stalemate of money market reform; "Fidelity's Nancy Prior Says Black Clouds Parting," which summarizes the keynote speech from Fidelity's top money fund leader; and, "State of Money Funds: Highlights of Symposium," which reviews a number of sessions from our recent Money Fund Symposium conference. We also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with June 30, 2014, performance statistics and rankings late Monday night, and will send out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Tuesday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are available to subscribers at our Content center.) Our June 30 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings data are scheduled to go out on Thursday, July 10.
The latest MFI newsletter's lead article comments, "Though SEC Chair Mary Jo White has repeatedly said Money Market Fund Reforms are coming in the "very near term," recent press reports and discussions among money fund managers and lawyers indicate that it could be months more before we see any final rules. Some are even predicting an indefinite stalemate. We still believe that dropping the floating NAV, or using it only after a threshold is broken, is the only path forward, given the lack of progress with the IRS over 'de minimis' gains issues."
The article explains, "Last month, The Wall Street Journal wrote in "SEC Divided on Money-Market Fund Rules," broke the news that it may be some time before we see money market fund reforms. The Journal article commented, "Six years after money-market mutual funds became a source of vulnerability in the financial crisis, U.S. securities regulators are still hashing out how to limit the risks they pose to the financial system. Tighter rules might not be finalized for several months, according to people familiar with the process.""
Our monthly "profile" piece says, "Nancy Prior, President of Fidelity Investments' Fixed-Income unit, gave the keynote address, entitled, "Money Market Funds: Past and Future," at Crane's Money Fund Symposium, late last month. We excerpt from the text of the speech below. Prior comments, "At long last, it appears we're getting close to the much-anticipated, long-awaited announcement of new money market fund rules from the Securities & Exchange Commission."
She continues, "The skies appear finally to be brightening after what seems like one long, gloomy winter. For the past 5 1/2 years, the money market mutual fund industry has been ... you can pick your metaphor here: Embattled, Under siege, Under a cloud.... Suffice it to say, the past few years have just not been a whole lot of fun. In addition to a very challenging, uncertain regulatory environment, we have had to manage through a prolonged and unprecedented period of extraordinarily low interest rates. Given all of this, it's not surprising that some financial writers predicted that money market mutual funds would not make it through this gauntlet."
The July MFI article on State of Money Funds: Highlights of Symposium explains, "Crane's Money Fund Symposium, held June 23-25 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, featured record attendance with approximately 500 attendees, speakers, and sponsors. It also earned rave reviews for its content, which delved into the major issues on the money fund landscape. Here are some of the highlights."
Crane Data's July MFI with June 30, 2014, data shows total assets decreasing by $13.4 billion (after rising $10.9 billion in May, falling by $59.5 billion in April and $25.9 billion in March) to $2.479 trillion (1,248 funds, down from 1,255 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 41 and 43 days, respectively, unchanged from the prior month. (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)
The June 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: SEC Intensely Focused on MF Reform; Very Near Term?," which reviews SEC Chair Mary Jo Whites latest comments on money market reform; "Stability, Fiduciary Priorities at BlackRock; Eye to Future," which interviews BlackRock's Rich Hoerner and Tom Callahan; and, "ICI Releases 2014 Investment Co. Fact Book," which reviews a number annual MMF facts, stats, and trends. We also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with May 31, 2014, performance statistics and rankings late Thursday night, and sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Friday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are available to subscribers at our Content center.) Our May 31 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings data are scheduled to go out on Tuesday, June 10.
The latest MFI newsletter's lead article comments, "Money market providers and investors continue to await the SEC's final Money Market Fund Reform regulations, but guesses as to when we might see the new rules range from next week to not at all. Most now seem to expect the regs between the end of June and the end of October though, with the heaviest betting now being late July or August. The speculative consensus still also seems to lean toward a combination of floating NAV for Inst MMFs and "gates & fees" for all prime MMFs. But of course, nobody really knows and many of the even minor details could matter greatly."
The article explains, "The most recent official word on the matter was from SEC Chair Mary Jo White, who spoke at the ICI's annual meeting on May 22. White didn't give any indication about what they might look like, but she did reiterate her comments from earlier this year that the rules would arrive in the "very near term." She told the ICI, "[T]he Commissioners ... and the Staff are intensely focused on it [MMF Reform] as we speak, completing the very important rulemaking. I expect it will be completed in the very near term. I won't say what the very near term is, but it's front and center."
Our MFI "profile" says, "This month, we sat down with Rich Hoerner, head of global cash management, and Tom Callahan, deputy head of global cash management, at BlackRock, the 3rd largest manager of money funds globally with approximately $263 billion (3/31/14). They talked about new products, the regulatory environment, and some emerging trends that could reshape the money fund landscape. Our discussion follows."
The piece continues, "MFI: Tell us about your background? Hoerner: I started with PNC in 1987 and joined the money market business, which was then known as Provident Institutional Management Corp., in 1992. In the mid-1990s, PNC bought BlackRock.... I grew up on the portfolio side of the money fund business before taking over as co-head of the cash business at BlackRock about 5 years ago. Callahan: I've been with BlackRock just 8 months. I joined in September of last year from the NYSE where I had been the CEO of their Liffe U.S. futures exchange. Prior to that, I ran Merrill Lynch's money market business for a time.... So I have been in and around the short end of the market for most of my career."
It adds, "Hoerner: The cash business at BlackRock has a long history. TempFund [which celebrated its 40th birthday late last year] was launched in October 1973 by Provident National Bank.... In 1982, Pittsburgh National Bank and Provident National Bank merged to form PNC. Then in 1995, PNC purchased BlackRock, [while BlackRock continued to be managed independently]. In 2006, BlackRock purchased Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.... In December of 2009, BlackRock bought Barclays Global Investors from Barclays Bank.... They also had a money fund business and a sizable securities lending business." (Watch for more excerpts of this interview later this month, or write us to request the full article.)
The June MFI article on ICI Releases 2014 Investment Co. Fact Book explains, "The ICI released its "2014 Investment Company Fact Book" last month at the Institute's annual meeting in Washington. As usual, the "Fact Book" is loaded with useful statistics on money market mutual funds. Under the section, "Demand for Money Market Funds (on page 45)," the Fact Book says, "In 2013, money market funds received a modest $15 billion -- the first annual inflow since 2008. Demand for money market funds was not uniform throughout 2013, however. Various factors, including tax events, rising long term interest rates, and a U.S. debt ceiling standoff, influenced money market fund flows during 2013."
Crane Data's June MFI with May 31, 2014, data shows total assets increasing by $11.9 billion (after falling by $59.5 billion last month and $25.9 billion in March) to $2.500 trillion (1,255 funds, up from 1,238 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 41 and 43 days, respectively, down one and two days, respectively, from the prior month. (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)
The preliminary agenda and dates are now set for the largest money fund conference outside of the U.S., Crane's European Money Fund Symposium. Our second annual event will be held Sept. 22-23 at the London Tower Bridge Hilton in London, England. Crane Data's first European event, held last September in Dublin, attracted over 100 attendees, sponsors and speakers, and we expect our London event to be even bigger and better. (Crane Data will host its flagship U.S. event, Money Fund Symposium, a month from today in Boston, June 23-25. Note that the Renaissance and neighboring Seaport Hotel are now sold out for our dates; attendees will have to seek rooms at the Westin Waterfront or elsewhere.)
"European Money Fund Symposium offers European, Asian and "offshore" money market portfolio managers, investors, issuers, dealers and service providers a concentrated and affordable educational experience, as well as an excellent and informal networking venue," says Peter Crane, President & CEO of Crane Data. "Our mission is to deliver the best possible conference content at an affordable price to money market fund professionals."
Attendee registration for our 2014 Crane's European Money Fund Symposium is $1,500 (or 900 GBP). Registration is open and sponsorships are still available. Visit http://www.euromfs.com to register or to see the latest agenda <i:http://www.kinsleymeetings.com/CraneEuropean/agenda.html>`_. Contact us to request the PDF brochure, for Sponsorship pricing and info, and for more details.
The agenda features sessions led by many of the leading authorities on money funds in Europe and worldwide. The Day One Agenda for Crane's European Money Fund Symposium includes: "Welcome to European Money Fund Symposium" by Peter Crane of Crane Data; a "State of MMFs in Europe & IMMFA Update" with Jonathan Curry and Susan Hindle Barone of IMMFA; "Regulations in Europe: Bullet Dodged?" with Dan Morrissey of William Fry and Paul Wilson of SWIP; "Senior Portfolio Manager Perspectives," moderated by Yaron Ernst of Moody's Investors Service and featuring Debbie Cunningham, of Federated Investors, Joe McConnell of J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Jennifer Gillespie of Legal & General I.M.; "MM Securities: New Sources of Supply," with David Hynes, of Northcross Capital LLP, Kieran Davis of Barclays, and Jean-Luc Sinniger of Citi Global Markets; "Portals, Transparency & Investor Issues" with Greg Fortuna, of State Street's Fund Connect, Justin Meadows of MyTreasury, and Maryum Malik of SunGard; "Discussing Domiciles: Tax, Accounting, Servicing" with Pat Wall and Sarah Murphy of PricewaterhouserCoopers Dublin, and Owen McManus of Ernst & Young; and, finally, an "Ireland and IFIA Update" with Kevin Murphy, of Arthur Cox.
The Day Two Agenda includes: "MM Strategists Speak: Rates, Regulations, Risks" with Giuseppe Maraffino of Barclays and Vikram Rai, of Citi; "Distribution: Major Issues & Client Concerns" with Jim Fuell, of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Kathleen Hughes, of Goldman Sachs A.M., and Kevin Thompson, of SSgA; "Recent Ratings Research: Trends & Issues" presented by Yaron Ernst of Moody's; "State of US Money Funds & Rule 2a-7" with Charlie Cardona, of BNY Mellon CIS, Jane Heinrichs of the Investment Company Institute, and John Hunt of Nutter, McClennen & Fish; "Euro & Sterling MMF Issues with David Callahan of Lombard Odier I.M. and Dennis Gepp of Federated Investors (UK) LLP; "Beyond MMFs: Enhanced Cash Strategies with Jason Granet of Goldman Sachs and Guyna Johnson of Standard & Poor's Ratings; "MMF's in Asia & Emerging Markets" by Peter Crane and Andrew Paranthoiene of Standard & Poor's; and finally, "Offshore Money Fund Data & Statistics" with Peter Crane and Aymeric Poizot of Fitch Ratings.
European Money Fund Symposium will be held at the Hilton London Tower Bridge Hotel. The negotiated conference rate is L261 for a single room and L272 for a double. Reservations can be made either online or by phone. You may call The Hilton London Tower Bridge Hotel directly at +44 203 002 4300. Please identify yourself as attending the Crane's European Money Fund Symposium in order to ensure you receive the negotiated conference rate.
Finally, visit www.moneyfundsymposium.com to learn more about our big U.S. show, Crane's Money Fund Symposium which will be held June 23-25, 2014, in Boston, and www.moneyfunduniversity.com to learn more about our "basic training" event, Crane's Money Fund University, which will take place January 22-23, 2015, in Stamford, Conn. Thanks for your support, and we hope to see you in London!
The agenda is set and final preparations are being made for Crane Data's 6th annual Money Fund Symposium, which will take place June 23-25, 2014 at The Renaissance Boston Waterfront. Money Fund Symposium is the largest gathering of money market fund managers and cash investors in the world. Last summer's event in Baltimore attracted over 450 attendees, and we expect approximately 500 to gather in Boston next month. Participants include money fund managers, marketers and servicers, cash investors, money market securities dealers, issuers, and regulators. See our latest Agenda here and more details on the Symposium website (www.moneyfundsymposium.com). We are still accepting registrations ($750) and hotel reservations (our discounted hotel block expires soon though). Contact us at email@example.com to request the full brochure.
The June 23 opening afternoon agenda includes: "Welcome to Money Fund Symposium 2014" by Peter Crane, President & Publisher of Crane Data; the keynote speech, "Money Market Funds - Past & Future" by Fidelity Investment's Nancy Prior; "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; 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; and, 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. (Note: we've also added an opening night reception on Sunday, June 22, sponsored by Rabobank, which will feature the USA vs. Portugal World Cup game.)
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 James Clark.
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, Dave Fishman of Goldman Sachs, 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.
We hope you'll join us in Boston next month! Finally, in other conference news, our 2nd annual "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 "basic training" event is scheduled for Jan. 22-23, 2015, in Stamford, Conn.