Following the conclusion of our European Money Fund Symposium last week in Paris (and our Money Fund Symposium this past summer in Atlanta), Crane Data is now preparing for its next event, our "basic training" event, Money Fund University. Our 8th annual MFU will return to the Boston Hyatt Regency in Boston, Mass., January 18-19, 2018. 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. The event also focuses on hot topics like money market regulations, money fund alternatives, offshore markets, and other recent industry trends. The affordable ($500) educational conference (see the preliminary agenda here or e-mail us to request our brochure) features a faculty of the money fund industry's top lawyers, strategists, and portfolio managers. (Note: Watch for a recap of our recent European Money Fund Symposium in our next MFI newsletter, which ships Friday. Crane Data would also like invite those attending this month's Association for Financial Professionals annual conference in San Diego to stop by Booth #1101 to say "Hello.")

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 next Boston event, we will also take a look at pending European money market fund regulations, and we'll again add a mini "Bond Fund University" segment on ultra-short bond funds and money fund alternatives. Registration for MFU is $500.

The morning of Day One of the 2018 MFU agenda includes: History & Current State of Money Market Mutual Funds with Peter Crane, President & Publisher, Crane Data; The Federal Reserve & Money Markets with Mark Cabana, MD, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Interest Rate Basics & Money Fund Math with Cabana and Phil Giles, Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and, Ratings, Monitoring & Performance with Greg Fayvilevich, Director, Fitch Ratings, Michael Masih, Associate Director, Standard & Poor's Global 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 Tyler Williams, Associate, J.P. Morgan Securities; Treasuries & Govt Agencies with Sue Hill, Senior Portfolio Manager; Federated Investors; Tax-Exempt Securities & VRDNs with John Vetter, Municipal Structured Analyst, Fidelity Investments; Commercial Paper & ABCP with Jean-Luc Sinniger, Director, Citi Global Markets; CDs, TDs & Bank Debt with Vanessa Hubbard, Vice President, Wells Fargo Securities; and, Credit Analysis & Portfolio Management with Sean Lussier, VP/Senior Portfolio Manager, and Peter Hajjar, Global Head of Credit Research, State Street Global Advisors.

Day Two's agenda includes: Money Fund Regulations: 2a-7 Basics & History with Jack Murphy, Partner, Dechert LLP, and Joan Swirsky, Of Counsel, Stradley Ronon; European MMF Reforms & Offshore Funds with John Hunt, Partner, Sullivan & Worcester LLP, and Crane Data's Peter Crane; and, Bond Fund University: Ultra-Short Bond Funds & SMAs 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.

We'd like to thank our past and pending MFU sponsors -- INTL FCStone, Fitch Ratings, Dreyfus/BNY Mellon CIS, BlackRock, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, S&P Global Ratings, Dechert LLP, Fidelity, Federated, SSGA, First American Funds/US Bank, and J.M. Lummis -- 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 the preliminary agendas for its next Bond Fund Symposium (March 22-23, 2018, at the Los Angeles Intercontinental), and our "big show," Money Fund Symposium, which will be held June 25-27, 2018, at the Pittsburgh Westin. We're also finalizing the location for next year's European Money Fund Symposium, which will likely be Sept. 21-22, 2018 at the London Tower Bridge Hilton.

In other news, money market mutual fund distributors and corporate cash managers are also making preparations for AFP 2017, the Association for Financial Professionals' gathering of Treasury Managers, which takes place this year in San Diego, Oct. 15-17. AFP is the largest gathering of corporate treasurers in the country, attracting over 5,000 treasury management professionals, as well as a number of large banks and institutional money fund managers.

Sessions involving money funds and cash investing include: Perspectives on Liquidity Investing, which features Scott Wachs from Morgan Stanley, Kimberly Kelly-Lippert from American Honda Motor Company, Chris Ginieczki from NVIDIA Corporation, and Karen Mercer from AARP. Its description says, "Post-SEC money market fund reform, institutional cash investors have encountered challenges in investing and diversifying their cash holdings in the short-term space. Join this expert panel as they provide a background on market dynamics and share their perspectives on liquidity investing and provide best practices to support your investment practices, manage changes in market liquidity, select the right investment products and cope with a volatile regulatory environment."

Another session is entitled, "Disruption: Turning Change into Opportunity in Liquidity Management Practices," which features Jason Granet of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Geoffrey Nolan of Qualcomm, and Rene Bustamante of FedEx Corporation. A third session, "Trapped Cash and Other Pitfalls of Managing Global Balances," involves Tom Wolfe from Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation, Sanford Pallotta from Rockefeller Group International, Inc., and Josh Ormond from J.P.Morgan. Yet another session, "When Cash Comes at a Cost: Efficient Methods for Managing Global Cash in Today's Regulatory Regime," includes: Geoffrey Nolan of Qualcomm, Jamie Cortas of Dell, and Beccy Milchem of BlackRock.

Finally, the last cash session, "The Return of Returns: Transforming your Investment Strategy for a Nonzero Interest-Rate World," features Dana Laidhold of The Carlyle Group, Zeke Loretto of eBay Inc., and Garret Sloan of Wells Fargo Securities, LLC. The description says, "Since 2008, the decision to "sit in cash" has had little impact on the performance of treasury portfolios. But the long, cold winter of zero interest rates has begun to thaw. To capitalize on these changes, treasury teams need to: 1) develop a new investment strategy for a shifting interest-rate environment, 2) have a clear picture of the company's liquidity position, and 3) communicate investment strategies effectively with senior leaders. Hear from the treasurer of The Carlyle Group and eBay's head of global investments as they discuss developing their post-2008 investment policies and strategies, optimizing the treasury investment function for a non-ZIRP world, and best practices for building world-class treasury investment programs." We hope to see you in San Diego!

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