The Investment Company Institute's latest "Viewpoints" analyzing money fund portfolio holdings is entitled, "Prime Money Market Funds' Eurozone Holdings Down 50 Percent over The Last Year." The ICI update, by Emily Gallagher and Chris Plantier, explains, "Securities of eurozone issuers accounted for 15.7 percent of assets of U.S. prime money market funds in April, up from 14.6 percent in March (see chart in original piece). This increase was driven by a rise in holdings of German assets (up to 5.4 percent from 4.1 percent last month) and by a small rise in holdings of French assets (up to 5.2 percent from 5.0 percent last month). Over the last year, however, the share of eurozone holdings has declined from 30.1 percent in April 2011 to 15.7 percent in April 2012."

ICI's charts show total Eurozone holdings of Prime money funds (using Crane Data info since May 2011) falling from a peak of 31.1% (15.7% of which was France) to a recent low of 12.0% (3.3% France) in December 2011. Eurozone holdings rose the first two months of 2012, then dipped in March before rebounding in April. Germany represents the largest segment with 5.4% of Prime assets, France is second with 5.2%, and the Netherlands is third with 4.7%. There is zero in Italy and 0.1% in Spain. (Money funds never owned Greece and haven't owned Ireland in over 2 years.) Non-Eurozone European exposure is concentrated in the UK (7.9%), Switzerland (5.5%), and Sweden (4.1%). Canadian-affiliated debt now accounts for 10.4% of Prime assets, Japan for 8.9%, and Australia/New Zealand for 7.9%.

In other news, a press release put out yesterday entitled, "Horizon Hires Michael Markowitz as CIO," explains, "Horizon Cash Management LLC, the leading investment advisor specializing in active cash management for the alternative investment industry, today has announced the appointment of Michael Markowitz as Chief Investment Officer. Mr. Markowitz, who also holds the titles of executive vice president and partner, will be responsible for setting the overall investment strategy of the firm and for the oversight of all investment functions of the firm including trading, credit research and operational aspects of the trading desk."

Pauline Modjeski, president and executive managing partner, said, "Mike's expertise and experience in the fixed income markets will be a huge advantage to the firm and a benefit to our clients. His addition to the executive management team is very exciting and reinforces the future success of Horizon."

The release states, "Mr. Markowitz has more than 23 years of experience in managing fixed income portfolios for institutional, Central Bank and retail clients. Before joining Horizon, he was a Managing Director and Head of Short Duration Fixed Income at Guggenheim Partners where he helped launch and manage a Short Duration, actively managed exchange-traded fund. Prior to joining Guggenheim, he was a Managing Director and Head of Short Duration Fixed Income with UBS Global Asset Management where he was responsible for all trading and investment strategies of the Money Market funds and all separate accounts with a maximum maturity of five years. In addition, Mr. Markowitz has been a frequent speaker at Fixed Income Industry conferences."

Finally, it adds, "Horizon Cash Management LLC is an SEC-registered investment advisory firm with a sole focus on cash management services. Founded in 1991 by Diane Mix, Horizon has provided its clients with separately managed, customized portfolios with strict emphasis on capital preservation, safety and liquidity. Horizon manages approximately $2 billion USD for its clients worldwide. For more information about Horizon and its services, please visit their website at"

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