Dave Sylvester, senior portfolio manager and head of money market funds at Wells Fargo Capital Management, will retire on March 31, 2015, capping a 35-year career with the company. Wells Fargo announced the news in a "Product Alert" posted Wednesday afternoon. The Alert says, "We thank Mr. Sylvester for his significant contributions to the success of our money market funds, which he has managed since their inception, and for building a deep and talented investment team. Under Mr. Sylvester's leadership, the Wells Fargo Advantage Money Market Funds have consistently provided a stable investment option for investor assets through innumerable credit cycles, some of which were the most challenging of the modern era. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Mr. Sylvester and wish him great success in the future." (Note: Crane Data would like to second these sentiments and thank Dave for his support, assistance and years of service to the money fund industry. We'll miss him!)

Wells' statement continues, "Jeffrey L. Weaver, CFA, head of Wells Capital Management's short-duration team, will also become head of the money market fund team effective January 1, 2015. In his new role, Mr. Weaver will provide strategic oversight to our money market fund strategy, enabling an integrated approach to the broad range of liquidity products managed by Wells Capital Management, including the Wells Fargo Advantage Money Market Funds. Consistent with our long-planned transition process, Senior Portfolio Managers Laurie R. White; Michael C. Bird, CFA; and James C. Randazzo will continue in their leadership roles in the day-to-day management of our prime, government, and municipal money market funds, working closely with Mr. Weaver <b:>`_. Matthew A. Grimes, CFA, will continue to lead the money market credit research team."

It explains, "Wells Fargo's money market investment philosophy and commitment to shareholders will remain unchanged. Our money market security selection process has long emphasized conservative investment choices, and all of the Wells Fargo Advantage Money Market Funds will continue to maintain an approach that seeks to prioritize preservation of capital, liquidity, and high-quality investments, driven by our own independent, fundamental credit research and risk management."

A "Q&A" explains the plan going forward. "Q: Can you tell me more about the Wells Fargo Advantage Money Market Funds team? The Wells Fargo Advantage Money Market Funds are subadvised by Wells Capital Management's money market fund team, which consists of 12 portfolio managers and traders as well as 14 credit analysts, using an array of proprietary and rigorous portfolio and credit research systems. As of September 30, 2014, the money market fund team managed $125 billion in assets under management. Portfolio Managers Ms. White, Mr. Bird, and Mr. Randazzo have worked closely with Mr. Sylvester for many years, and much of the day-to-day management of the Wells Fargo Advantage Money Market Funds has been led by them for some time."

It continues, "Q: What is the timeline for the transition of Mr. Sylvester's responsibilities? Mr. Sylvester will remain in his current role as senior portfolio manager until December 31, 2014. He will then serve as a senior portfolio advisor to the team until March 31, 2015, helping Mr. Weaver with the transition process. Mr. Weaver assumes his new role as head of the money market fund team and short-duration team on January 1, 2015, and will work closely with Portfolio Managers Ms. White, Mr. Bird, and Mr. Randazzo in the management of the Wells Fargo Advantage Money Market Funds."

Wells update asks, "Q: What can you tell me about Jeffrey Weaver, the new head of the money market fund team? Mr. Weaver has more than 23 years of investment experience. After initially working as a money market fund portfolio manager, he has been a portfolio manager for Wells Capital Management's short-duration fixed-income products for the past 20 years. Since 2002, he has served as the leader of the 11-person short-duration fixed-income team, which manages more than $40 billion in taxable and tax-advantaged short-duration strategies for institutional clients. During this time, he has worked closely with Mr. Sylvester on the provision of liquidity alternatives to our clients and with Mr. Grimes as a primary credit research resource."

The Alert says, "Q: What can you tell me about Portfolio Managers White, Bird, and Randazzo? Each of these individuals has worked closely with Mr. Sylvester for many years and will continue to implement the same investment approach and adhere to the same investment philosophy that investors have come to know with the Wells Fargo Advantage Money Market Funds. Laurie R. White will continue in her role as senior portfolio manager with an emphasis on prime money market investments. Ms. White is a 23-year veteran of Wells Capital Management, spending the entire time co-managing money market funds and other short-term assets with Mr. Sylvester.... Michael C. Bird joined Wells Capital Management as a senior portfolio manager in 2005, where he became responsible for U.S. government money market funds with Mr. Sylvester. Mr. Bird began his investment industry career in 1993 and has experience managing both taxable and tax-exempt money market portfolios.... James C. Randazzo leads the team that manages U.S. municipal money market investments. Mr. Randazzo joined Wells Capital Management in 2008, when Wells Fargo acquired the parent company of Evergreen Investments, Wachovia Bank."

It continues, "Q: What can you tell me about Matthew Grimes, head of taxable money market credit research? Matthew A. Grimes heads the taxable money market credit research team, providing in-depth analysis and research of money market securities. Since joining the firm in 1991, Mr. Grimes has developed the proprietary credit research process used by Wells Capital Management for money market fund and short-duration mandates that require top-tier credit ratings."

Finally, the piece adds, "Q: Are the money market fund team and short-duration team being merged? The money market fund team and short-duration team will continue to operate as distinct entities with separate trading desks. Wells Capital Management will continue to have a team dedicated to the management of money market funds and will not change its emphasis on principal preservation and liquidity. While the teams will remain separate entities, combining their leadership under one person responsible for the full spectrum of liquidity products will ensure the development of the full range of alternatives desired by liquidity investors in a changing environment."

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