The Investment Company Institute released its latest weekly "Money Market Mutual Fund Assets" report, which shows Prime assets increasing for the fourth week in a row, and the 9th week out of the past 10. Prime MMFs have risen by $19.2 billion, or 5.1% since 12/21/16. ICI's statistics show Prime money fund assets rising to their highest level since October 12, 2016, just prior to Money Fund Reforms going into effect. Government money market fund assets have fallen in seven of the past 10 weeks. We review the latest asset report, and we also mention some new "People" news in the money fund space below.

ICI's latest release says, "Total money market fund assets decreased by $1.97 billion to $2.68 trillion for the week ended Wednesday, March 1, the Investment Company Institute reported today. Among taxable money market funds, government funds decreased by $1.65 billion and prime funds increased by $360 million. Tax-exempt money market funds decreased by $680 million." Total Government MMF assets, which include Treasury funds too and which represent 80.4% of all money funds, stand at $2.154 trillion, while Total Prime MMFs, which account for 14.7% of all MMFs, stand at $394.0 billion. Tax Exempt MMFs total $130.3 billion, or 4.9%.

It explains, "Assets of retail money market funds decreased by $1.31 billion to $976.90 billion. Among retail funds, government money market fund assets decreased by $1.17 billion to $599.43 billion, prime money market fund assets increased by $110 million to $251.81 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets decreased by $250 million to $125.66 billion." Retail assets account for over a third of total assets, or 36.5%, and Government Retail assets make up 61.4% of all Retail MMFs.

The release continues, "Assets of institutional money market funds decreased by $650 million to $1.70 trillion. Among institutional funds, government money market fund assets decreased by $470 million to $1.55 trillion, prime money market fund assets increased by $260 million to $142.28 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets decreased by $440 million to $4.69 billion." Institutional assets account for 63.5% of all MMF assets, with Government Inst assets making up 91.4% of all Institutional MMFs.

In other news, we learned of two recent press releases announcing "People" news in the cash investment sector. The first, entitled, "Public Trust Advisors Welcomes Joel Friedman to its Investment Advisory Team," tells us, "Public Trust Advisors, LLC (Public Trust) is pleased to announce that Joel Friedman has joined Public Trust as a senior member of our Investment Advisory Team. With more than 25 years of investment management experience, Joel brings a strong leadership and analytical background coupled with longstanding relationship management skills proven throughout the institutional marketplace."

Chief Executive Officer Thomas Jordan comments, "These skills are a perfect fit to assist Public Trust in ensuring exceptional client service as we continue to expand across the country. Joel's skills are a compliment to strong client relationships that specifically tailor investment solutions to our existing market." The release adds, "Before joining Public Trust, Joel was most recently a Senior Director at Standard & Poor's in New York where he led their global fund ratings activities representing more than $2 trillion of rated mutual funds, ETF’s, and separate accounts."

The release adds, "Public Trust Advisors investment services for the public sector include the management of local governments investment pools (LGIP) and separately managed, individual investment accounts (SMA).... Public Trust Advisors brand LGIP investment management services are used by eight local government investment pools and nearly 3,000 participating entities nationally. Public Trust Advisors LGIPs include the Colorado Local Government Liquid Asset Trust (COLOTRUST PRIME and COLOTRUST PLUS+), Florida Cooperative Liquid Assets Securities System (FLCLASS), New York Cooperative Liquid Assets Securities System (NYCLASS), Texas Cooperative Liquid Assets Securities System Trust (Texas CLASS and Texas CLASS Government), Michigan Cooperative Liquid Assets Security System (Michigan CLASS), TrustINdiana, Louisiana Asset Management Pool (LAMP), and VACo/VML Virginia Investment Pool (VIP)."

Another release, entitled, "StoneCastle Expands Insured Sweep Business with Key New Hires," explains, "StoneCastle Cash Management, LLC, a market leading provider of insured deposit technology and services, announced the appointment of two executives to support the firm's expansion strategies. Frank Bonanno, an industry expert in the insured cash sweep business for broker-dealers and other third party intermediaries, has been appointed Managing Director, Head of Marketing. In addition, Kyle McAndrew, an experienced sales professional, has been tapped as Vice President to lead business development for the firm's insured sweep business."

It continues, "Both executives recently departed Reich & Tang where Bonanno was Director and Head of Marketing since 2011 before joining StoneCastle's team. He has over 20 years' experience in the marketing of financial services, with a focus on the cash management sector. Prior to that, Bonanno worked in senior leadership positions at Double Rock Corp., The Reserve, and The Dreyfus Corporation. McAndrew brings a decade of experience in business development and client service to broker-dealers, registered investment advisors, and other financial intermediary platforms. He spent the early part of his career as an advisory consultant at LPL Financial."

StoneCastle CEO Stephen Rotella comments, "We are delivering on our commitment to be a differentiated and disruptive force in the insured cash sweep business. The combination of our leading technology, deep expertise, and the strength of our team creates a compelling value proposition for our clients and the industry at large. Adding these two outstanding industry veterans is an exclamation point to that commitment.... Frank and Kyle bring great market insights and a zealous focus on the needs of our clients. They will further elevate StoneCastle's insured sweep expertise and add momentum to our firm foothold in the brokerage sweep marketplace."

Finally, Bonanno adds, "I am excited with this opportunity, which comes at a pivotal time in the evolution of the StoneCastle organization. The firm's expertise in cash management, combined with its extensive bank network, strong technology platform, and organizational strength, puts the firm in a uniquely strong position to differentiate itself within an otherwise staid and commoditized cash business. I look forward to working with such a talented team to fully leverage the firm's distinct advantages and expand its business."

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