Several fund liquidations, name changes and consolidations occurred last week, including Neuberger Berman's tax-exempt money fund closings, the renaming of RiverSource as Columbia, and the merger of the former Barclays offshore money fund suite into BlackRock's offshore lineup. While none of these moves was totally new or earth-shattering, they continue to demonstrate the fluid nature of money fund lineups and listings in 2010. Since September 2008, out of the 84 money fund managers tracked by Crane Data, 8 have liquidated (with one more pending), 4 have merged into other managers, and 6 have changed names. (See our pending October issue of our Money Fund Intelligence for the full list and for more details.)

We wrote in our Sept. 13 Crane Data News ("Liquidations Continue in Money Fund Space; Neuberger Files to Quit)," "Neuberger Berman appears to be the latest casualty of ultra-low rates, asset outflows and rising regulatory requirements in the money market mutual fund space. A recent SEC filing for the Neuberger Berman Income Funds and Neuberger Berman Municipal Money Fund says, "The Board ... recently approved the liquidation of Neuberger Berman Municipal Money Fund, which is scheduled to occur on or about September 28, 2010." (Note that Neuberger, the former Lehman Brothers, continues to manage other "cash" and other money funds, including the SEI Tax-Ex Trust T-F MMP (TXEXX).) The Neuberger Tax-Exempt funds, including Neuberger Berman Muni MF Invest (NMNXX), Neuberger Berman NY Muni MF (NYNXX), and Neuberger Berman Tax-Fr MF Re (NTFXX) did indeed liquidate on Sept. 28.

We also just learned that the Columbia name will be return to the money fund space, though this time as just the retail presence of the RiverSource funds. The $2.5 billion RiverSource Cash Management A was renamed as Columbia Cash Managemt A (IDSXX) on Sept. 27, and the $125 million RiverSource Government MMF A was renamed Columbia Government MMF A (SCMXX). (See the name changes here.) Earlier this year, the previous Columbia money funds were renamed BofA Funds following the sale of Columbia Management's long-term fund business to Ameriprise Financial. (See our May 4 Crane Data News "Columbia Money Funds Now BofA Funds, BofA Global Capital Mgmt" for more details.)

Also, the consolidation of fund lineups continues (see our August 26 News "Goldman to Consolidate Fund Lineups, Liquidate Inst Liquid Assets MFs") with the merger of BlackRock's Dublin-based ("offshore") Cash Selection Funds (formerly Barclays Global) into BlackRock's Institutional Cash Series money funds. BlackRock said to European and non-U.S.-based shareholders of these funds, "The CSF Funds and the ICS Funds have been managed by the same investment team since BlackRock acquired Barclays Global Investors in December 2009.... By merging the funds, investors will be investing in larger pooled investment vehicles whilst maintaining access to the same BlackRock investment expertise." (See our Money Fund Intelligence International for more details.) This merger took place on Sept. 27.

Finally, two other small funds were liquidated last week. DWS CAT Prem MM Sh MMP Sh (CPRXX) and DWS Premier MM Shares TEP (IEXXX) were both liquidated on Sept. 29, 2010. We also saw assets of the RidgeWorth funds move into various Federated funds last week, though this liquidation isn't officially scheduled to occur until around Nov. 30. (See the latest filing here.)

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