Following on the heels of our June Money Fund Symposium in Minneapolis and our September European Money Fund Symposium in Dublin, Crane Data is preparing for its sixth annual Money Fund University "basic training" conference, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Boston in Boston, Mass., January 21-22, 2016. Crane's Money Fund University is designed for those new to the money market fund industry or those in need of a concentrated refresher on the basics. But the event also focuses on hot topics like money market reforms, money fund alternatives, offshore markets, and other recent industry trends. The affordable ($500) educational conference (see the preliminary agenda here) features a faculty of the money fund industry's top lawyers, strategists, and portfolio managers. Note: Crane Data would like to thank all of those visited our booth or attended our session ("Floating NAV Money Funds and Cash Alternatives," which featured Peter Crane, Vicki Fiegehen of Qualcomm and Lance Doherty of Pacific Life) at the Association for Financial Professionals annual conference in Denver earlier this week. (See below for some outside comments on the conference.)

Money Fund University offers attendees a 2-day course on money market mutual funds, educating attendees on the history of money funds, the Fed, interest rates, ratings, rankings, money market instruments such as commercial paper, CDs and repo, plus portfolio construction and credit analysis. At our Boston event, we will also take a look at how the SEC's new money market reforms, which go into effect in October 2016, are changing the money fund landscape.

The morning of Day One of the 2016 MFU agenda includes: History & Current State of Money Market Mutual Funds with Peter Crane, President & Publisher, Crane Data; The Federal Reserve & Money Markets with Joseph Abate, Director, Fixed Income Strategy, Barclays and Mark Cabana, MD, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Interest Rate Basics & Money Fund Math with Cabana and Crane; and, Ratings, Monitoring & Performance with Greg Fayvilevich, Director, Fitch Ratings and Barry Weiss, Director, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

Day One's afternoon agenda includes: Instruments of the Money Markets Intro with Teresa Ho, Vice President, J.P. Morgan Securities; Repurchase Agreements with Teresa Ho and Shaina Negron, Associate, J.P. Morgan Securities; Treasuries & Govt Agencies with Sue Hill, Senior Portfolio Manager, Federated Investors; Tax-Exempt Securities & VRDNs with Colleen Meehan, Senior Portfolio Manager, Dreyfus Corp. and John Vetter, Municipal Structured Analyst, Fidelity Investments; Commercial Paper & ABCP with Rob Crowe, Director, Citi Global Markets and Jean-Luc Sinniger, Director, Money Markets, Citi Global Markets; CDs, TDs & Bank Debt with Garrett Sloan, Fixed Income Strategist, Wells Fargo Securities and Marian Trano, senior Vice President and Treasurer, Bank Hapoalim; and, Credit Analysis & Portfolio Management with Jeff St. Peters, Senior Portfolio Manager, SSgA.

Day Two's agenda includes: Money Fund Regulations: 2a-7 Basics & History with John Hunt, Partner, Nutter, McClennan & Fish LLP and Joan Swirsky, Of Counsel, Stradley Ronon; Outstanding Issues with MMF Reforms with Stephen Keen, Senior Counsel, Perkins Coie and Jack Murphy, Partner, Dechert LLP; Offshore MMFs, SMAs, and Ultra-Short Bonds with Peter Crane and Jonathan Carlson, MD, BofA Global Capital Management; and Money Fund Data and Wisdom Demo with Peter Crane. The conference ends with its annual MFU "Graduation" ceremony (where diplomas are given to attendees).

New portfolio managers, analysts, investors, issuers, service providers, and anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of "cash" investing should benefit from our comprehensive program. Even experienced professionals may enjoy a refresher course and the opportunity to interact with peers in an informal setting. Attendee registration for Crane's Money Fund University is just $500, exhibit space is $2,000, and sponsorship opportunities are $3K, $4K, and $5K. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hyatt Regency Boston, located at One Avenue de Lafayette in the downtown Financial District. The conference negotiated rate of $179 plus tax is available through December 22.

We'd like to thank our MFU sponsors -- Fitch Ratings, Dreyfus/BNY Mellon CIS, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Invesco, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, Dechert LLP, and Wells Fargo Funds -- for their support, and we look forward to seeing you in Boston in January. E-mail Pete Crane (pete@cranedata.com) for the latest brochure or visit www.moneyfunduniversity.com to register or for more details. Crane Data is also preparing to publish the preliminary agenda for its next big show, Money Fund Symposium, which will be held June 22-24, 2016, at the Philadelphia Marriott in Philadelphia, Pa..

Regarding the AFP Annual Conference going on this week in Denver, Wells Fargo Securities money market strategist Garret Sloan provided his perspective in his "Daily Short Stuff" commentary for October 21. Sloan writes, "For all of the indecision amongst corporate cash managers on the subject of money market fund reform, it is not due to lack of interest. Yesterday at the AFP Conference in Denver, Pete Crane spoke on floating NAV money market funds and cash alternatives. I say that only because the room was filled beyond capacity. I know that because we were turned away at the door. Suffice it to say, the subject of cash alternatives and managing in a floating NAV environment is certainly on the minds of corporate cash managers. What is also evident, perhaps less so after Pete Crane's presentation, is the remaining uncertainty amongst cash managers ... and also many fund companies. There are still many fund complexes seeking more feedback from investors on what products they would hypothetically accept and which they likely would not."

Sloan continues, "The conversation around "private funds" seems to be gaining more interest from both investors and fund companies. There are problems, to be sure. The diversification of investors seems to be the most pressing issue. Moreover, transparency is also likely to be a major concern. But there is little doubt in my mind that these can be overcome and more fund families will look to introduce private funds that can buy credit products, are not subject to gates and fees and do not have to float their NAVs."

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