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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.
The January issue of Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence was sent out to subscribers this morning. The latest edition of our flagship monthly newsletter features the articles: "Reviewing Highlights of '13; More Regs & Rates in '14," which reviews the major stories of 2013 and gives an outlook for the coming year; "Treasury Partners' Klein on Portal, Separate Accounts," which interviews one of the principals of a major online money market trading "portal"; and, "Top MMFs of 2013; Our 5th Annual MFI Awards," which reviews the top-performing money funds of 2013 and of the past 5 and 10 years. We've also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with Dec. 31, 2013, performance statistics and rankings, and will be sending out our MFI XLS spreadsheet shortly. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are available to subscribers at our Content center.) Our December 31 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings data are scheduled to go out on Friday, Jan. 10.
The "profile" with Treasury Partner's Klein says, "This month, we interview Jerry Klein, Managing Director/Partner of Treasury Partners, and discuss the online money market fund trading portal business, as well as recent trends in separately managed accounts and cash investing. Our Q&A follows." (Watch for excerpts of this interview later this month, or write us to request the full article.)
Our article on the MFI Awards explains, "In this issue, we once again recognize some of the top-performing money funds, ranked by total returns, for calendar 2013, as well as the top-ranked funds for the past 5-year and past 10-year periods. We present the following funds with our annual Money Fund Intelligence Awards. On page 7, we show a table with the winners. These include the No. 1-ranked funds based on 1-year, 5-year and 10-year returns, through Dec. 31, 2013, in each of our major fund categories (our "Type") -- Prime Institutional, Government Institutional, Treasury Institutional, Prime Retail, Government Retail, and Treasury Retail."
MFI says, "The top-performing Taxable fund overall in 2013 and top among Prime Institutional funds was BlackRock Cash Inst MMF Inst (BGIXX), which returned 0.15%. (We excluded BlackRock Cash's SL class due to its limited availability.) Among Prime Retail funds, Meeder Money Market Fund Retail (FFMXX) again had the best return in 2013 (0.14%). (It previously was named Flex-fund.) Western Asset Inst Govt MM A (INGXX) won the Top Government Institutional fund over a 1-year period with a return of 0.05%, while Davis Government MMF A (RPGXX) won the MFI Award for Government Retail Money Funds (1-year return). Morgan Stanley Inst Liq Treas Inst (MISXX) ranked No. 1 in the Treasury Institutional class, and Morgan Stanley Inst Liq Treas Cash Mgt (MREXX) ranked tops among Treasury Retail funds."
On the "Top Funds Over Past Five Years, we write, "For the 5-year period through Dec. 31, 2013, Touchstone Inst MMF (TINXX) again took top honors for the best-performing money fund with a return of 0.34%. Meeder Money Market Fund Retail ranked No. 1 among Prime Retail with an annualized return of 0.23%. Western Asset Inst Govt MM A ranked No. 1 among Govt Institutional funds, while Vanguard Federal Money Mkt Fund (VMFXX) and Weitz Government Money Mkt (WGMXX) both ranked No. 1 among Treasury Retail funds over the past 5 years. Vanguard Admiral Treasury MM (VUSXX) ranked No. 1 in 5-year performance among Treasury Inst money funds, and Northern Trust Treasury Money Mkt (NITXX) ranked No. 1 among Treasury Retail funds.
We awarded the "Best Money Funds of the Decade titles to, "The highest-performers of the past 10 years include: DWS Daily Assets Fund Inst (DAFXX), which returned 1.94% (No. 1 overall and first among Prime Inst); Fidelity Select MM Portfolio (FSLXX), which returned 1.78% (the highest among Prime Retail); American Beacon US Govt Select (AAOXX), which returned 1.74%, (No. 1 among Govt Inst funds); and, Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX), which ranked No. 1 among Govt Retail funds (1.67%). Milestone Treasury Obligs Fin (MIL01) returned the most among Treasury Institutional funds over the past 10 years; and, Goldman Sachs FS Trs Obl Sel (GSOXX) ranked No. 1 among Treasury Retail money funds."
MFI adds, "See our additional rankings tables on pages 9-11, and see our Money Fund Intelligence XLS for more detailed listings, percentiles, and rankings. Look for more details in coming days on the website too (www.cranedata.com). Winners will receive a letter and certificate stating their No. 1 ranking and the criteria used."
Finally, we're look forward to seeing some of you at our "basic training" conference event, Crane's Money Fund University, in just over 2 weeks (Jan. 23-24, 2014) in Providence, Rhode Island. Our 4th annual MFU will contain a heavier focus on money fund regulations, and will, as always, cover the basics of money funds, interest rates, and overviews of various money markets. Our next main event, Crane's Money Fund Symposium, will take place June 23-25, 2014, in Boston, and our second annual "offshore" event, European Money Fund Symposium, will take place Sept. 23-24 in London. Registrations and sponsorships are now being accepted for our 2014 Symposium, and the preliminary agenda is being finalized. (Watch for the agenda late this week or next.)
The December 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: "Money Fund Assets Retake $2.7 Trillion; Flat Again in '13," which reviews the growth of money fund assets over recent months and cycles of 2012 and 2013; "Northern Rethinks Cash: Interview with Peter Yi," which discusses money markets and enhanced cash with the Chicago manager; and, "MMF MNAVs Not Floating," which reviews the disclosure of market net asset values since the beginning of 2013. We've also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with Nov. 30, 2013, performance statistics and rankings, and will be sending out our MFI XLS shortly. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are available to subscribers at our Content center.) Our November 30 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to go out on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Our MF Assets piece says, "Money market mutual fund assets were basically flat for the second year in a row in 2013. But the miniscule gains masked a huge decline then comeback this year, a pattern similar to what we saw in 2012. Money fund assets rose by $24 billion in the latest week, according to ICI's numbers, and retook the $2.7 trillion level for the first time since the first week of 2013."
The December issue's lead story continues, "Assets have only peaked above $2.7 trillion for the first couple of weeks in January in both 2013 and in 2012. They had first broken above this level in the summer of 2007 and remained above it until mid-2011. (See the annual asset level chart on page 2, and assets over the past 2 years below.)"
Our "profile" with Northern's Peter Yi says, "This month Money Fund Intelligence interviews Peter Yi, Senior Vice President and Director of Money Markets at Northern Trust. Northern is the 11th largest manager of money funds in the U.S., but its footprint in the cash marketplace is even larger given its management of securities lending reinvestment and other cash pools. Our Q&A follows."
We write: "MFI: How long has Northern been involved in running money funds?. Yi: Northern Trust has been managing money market funds since the 1970's when Northern created its first cash sweep vehicle in our trust department. We have been doing this for a long time and continue to be very committed to the money market business. We are now managing about $225 billion in AUM across various money market and short duration products and strategies.."
The article on MMF MNAVs explains, "Two of the major stories of 2013 included the SEC's money market fund reform proposal, which contained a floating NAV option for prime institutional money funds, and the voluntary disclosure of daily market NAVs by a number of institutional money fund managers. Given that we now have almost a year of history of these daily MNAVs, and a 2-year history of the monthly "shadow" NAVs, we decided to look at whether money funds do indeed actually float. Given the minimal fluctuation in these values to date, it's pretty clear that the answer is "No."
Finally, we're making preparations for our "basic training" conference event, Crane's Money Fund University, which will be held Jan. 23-24, 2014 in Providence, Rhode Island. Our 4th annual MFU will contain a heavier focus on money fund regulations, and will, as always, cover the basics of money funds, interest rates, and overviews of various money markets. Our next main event, Crane's Money Fund Symposium, will take place June 23-25, 2014, in Boston, and our second annual "offshore" event, European Money Fund Symposium, will take place Sept. 23-24 in London. Registrations and sponsorships are now being accepted for our 2014 Symposium, and the preliminary agenda is being finalized. (Watch for the agenda later this month.)