As treasury managers and money market fund providers gather in San Diego for this week's AFP conference, online money market trading portal ICD announces the release of a new white paper, as well as an outside investment. Their latest release, entitled, "ICD Publishes Comprehensive Whitepaper on Treasury Investment Options and Investment Risk Management," explains, "Institutional Cash Distributors (ICD), the world's largest independent fund portal, today released their latest ICD Intelligencer. The whitepaper investigates various surveys on institutional short-term portfolio asset allocation, strengths and weaknesses of treasury investment options, yield comparisons on various products, and best practices for trading and investment risk management." We review this, as well as an earlier press release, "ICD Announces Major Growth Investment from Parthenon Capital Partners," below. (See also our June 28 News, "BlackRock to Acquire Money Fund Trading Portal Tech Firm Cachematrix," and visit us at Booth #1101 at AFP 2017!)

ICD's first release continues, "This latest edition rates Bank Deposits, Money Market Funds (MMFs), Bond Funds, Commercial Paper, US Treasuries and other investments on the three primary treasury objectives: Capital Preservation, Liquidity and Yield. Additionally, the whitepaper includes analysis from leading treasury consulting firm, Treasury Strategies, on the strengths and weakness of investment options and ratings before and after the post financial crisis regulations."

Tory Hazard, ICD's Chief Executive Officer, comments, "The optimal portfolio will differ from organization to organization. The key is to evaluate all investment options and use best practices to achieve the firm's investment objectives within their risk tolerance. This issue of the ICD Intelligencer was developed as a desk reference for institutional investors and to advance dialogue with our clients to help guide ICD’s 2018 development decisions."

The release says, "A wide variety of survey findings are included in the Intelligencer, including: ICD clients are experiencing average Earnings Credit Rates of approximately 43 basis points; AFP Liquidity Survey respondents continue to place the majority of their short-term investments into instruments with very short maturities and invest in very few investment vehicles; J.P. Morgan Asset Management's worldwide clients have the largest allocation of their cash portfolios in MMFs – regardless of the size of the client or their region."

Sebastian Ramos, ICD SVP and Global Head of Trading, states, "ECRs were a favored treasury investment option during the zero interest rate environment that persisted after the 2008 financial crisis. We were surprised to hear from our clients that the current ECRs were so low and have not kept pace with the recent increases in interest rates."

The latest release adds, "The whitepaper also compares Prime and Government MMFs to illustrate the significant opportunity cost of excluding Prime MMFs from treasury portfolios; and examines technology, compliance and reporting solutions that were developed to mitigate U.S. Prime MMF Reform concerns. Additionally, the ICD Intelligencer covers the spectrum of best practices for trading and investment risk management including: uniform trading protocol, compliance, Treasury Management System integrations, secure automated settlement and on-demand exposure analytics to ensure that portfolios are compatible with investment guidelines."

ICD's Parthenon investment release explains, "Institutional Cash Distributors (ICD), the world's largest independent money market fund portal, and Parthenon Capital Partners ("Parthenon"), a growth-oriented private equity firm, have announced a strategic partnership, that - while remaining subject to standard regulatory approvals - provides ICD with an opportunity to leverage Parthenon's resources to invest in client-centric technology, products, and people, as well as to expand its business model into new markets. ICD Portal services more than $100B in assets across hundreds of clients, including much of the Fortune 100."

CEO Hazard comments, "We are excited to partner with Parthenon to accelerate growth, capitalize on opportunities and better serve our clients. Parthenon's shared vision, values and resources will help take ICD to another level."

Parthenon Managing Partner Andrew Dodson tells us, "In speaking with ICD's clients as part of our diligence, each expressed a level of praise for the Company's technology and service that I've rarely heard, which speaks to ICD's client-centric operating philosophy. ICD has a very strong history of growth and leadership in the institutional trading and investment risk management space and is remarkably well positioned to expand globally and into new products. We are excited to partner with the ICD team to help the company reach its full potential."

The release continues, "The company's day-to-day operations and leadership team will remain unchanged, with Ed Baldry, Jeff Jellison and Tom Newton, co-founders of ICD, remaining in their ICD management and board of director roles. Ed Baldry, MD and Global Head of Sales, says, "ICD's ethos of providing extraordinary client service is why we have been so successful over the past 14 years. Our partnership with Parthenon provides resources that will serve to enhance our clients' overall ICD experience for years to come."

Brian Golson, Managing Partner and co-CEO of Parthenon, adds, "We're thrilled to partner with Tory, the ICD founders and the rest of the ICD team. Throughout our research into technology-enabled investment management and treasury services, ICD distinguished itself through best-in-class technology and exceptional customer service. We look forward to a partnership that allows the team to add multiple new areas of growth."

Finally, the statement says, "ICD's technology group is expanding its Golden, Colorado operations to accommodate significant personnel growth. The additional resources will enable ICD Portal to add products, better integrate with strategic partners and release enhancements at a faster pace. The firm is actively pursuing regulatory approval to expand into new markets and offer additional currency products on ICD Portal."

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