With less than 2 months to go before our big show, Crane's Money Fund Symposium, which will be held in Pittsburgh, June 25-27, we are also preparing for our 6th Annual European Money Fund Symposium, the largest money market event in Europe. The preliminary agenda is now ready and registrations are being taken for this year's European MFS, which will take place Sept. 20-21 at the London Tower Bridge Hilton. See below for more information, or contact us for details. (Note: If you haven't registered yet for the U.S. Money Fund Symposium, you can still do so via www.moneyfundsymposium.com.) We look forward to seeing many of you in Pittsburgh later next month and/or in London this September!

Last year's European Crane Symposium event in Paris attracted 125 attendees, sponsors and speakers -- our largest European event ever. Given pending new money fund regulations in Europe and possible plans for "repatriation" of assets back to the U.S., we expect our show in London to attract even more interest this year.

"European Money Fund Symposium offers European, global and "offshore" money market portfolio managers, investors, issuers, dealers and service providers a concentrated and affordable educational experience, and an excellent and informal networking venue," says Crane Data President, Peter Crane. "Our mission is to deliver the best possible conference content at an affordable price to money market fund professionals," he adds.

EMFS will be held at the Hilton London Tower Bridge Hotel. Hotel rooms must be booked before Monday, August 6 to receive the discounted rate of L295 plus tax. Registration for our 2018 Crane's European Money Fund Symposium is $1,000 USD (or L750). Visit www.euromfs.com to register, or contact us to request the PDF brochure or for Sponsorship pricing and info.

The EMFS agenda features sessions conducted by many of the leading authorities on money funds in Europe and worldwide. The Day One Agenda for Crane's European Money Fund Symposium includes: "Welcome to European Money Fund Symposium" with Peter Crane of Crane Data; followed by "IMMFA Update: The State of MMFs in Europe" with Reyer Kooy and Jane Lowe of IMMFA; "European, Euro, & LVNAV Money Funds," with David Callahan of Lombard Odier, James Vincent of Goldman Sachs, and a speaker from Aviva Investors; "Senior Portfolio Manager Perspectives," moderated by Dan Singer of J.P. Morgan Securities and featuring Joe McConnell of JP Morgan AM, Jim O'Connor, of Dreyfus/BNY Mellon CIS, and another PM.

The afternoon will consist of: "French & Continental Money Update" with with Manuel Arrive of Fitch Ratings and Vanessa Robert of Moody's Investors Service; "U.K. & Sterling MMF Issues" with Dennis Gepp of Federated Investors and Paul Mueller of Invesco; "U.S. Money Funds vs. European USD MMFs" with Peter Crane of Crane Data, Deborah Cunningham of Federated Investors, and Rob Sabatino of UBS Asset Management; and, "Chinese, Japanese & Australian Money Funds with Andrew Paranthoiene of Standard & Poor's and Alastair Sewell of Fitch Ratings.

The Day Two Agenda includes: "Irish & European Fund Issues" with Rudolph Siebel of BVI; "European Money Fund Reform Roundtable" with Dan Morrissey of William Fry and John Hunt of Sullivan & Worcester LLP; "Money Fund Portals & Distribution in Europe" with Jim Fuell of J.P. Morgan, Justin Meadows of NEX Treasury, and Sabrina Hartzog of Citibank Online Investments.

The second day's afternoon will include: "Dealer Update and Issuance Outlook" with David Hynes of Northcross Capital LLP and Marianne Medora of Group BPCE/Natixis; "Ultra-Short Bond Funds & Enhanced Cash" with Neil Hutchinson of J.P. Morgan and Thierry Darmon of Amundi; "Strategists Speak: Negative Rates & Reforms" with Vikram Rai of Citi; and "Offshore Money Fund Data & Disclosures" with Peter Crane of Crane Data and Michael Tram of Cachematrix.

In other European money fund news, Fitch Ratings and the U.K.-based ACT (Association of Corporate Treasurers) recently hosted a webinar entitled, "European Money Market Fund Reform," which featured Fitch's Alastair Sewell and ACT's Michelle Price. Price asks, "As we enter the final months of implementation of new European money market regulations, many are beginning to announce their transition plans outlining what type and range of funds they will be launching later in the year. As investors in money market funds, corporate treasurers would need to make some key decisions over the next few months; but what are the key considerations and pitfalls that treasurers should be looking out for?"

Sewell tells us, "I spend a great deal of time looking at money market funds and the key issue of reform. We will be going over: what will happen, what are the risks, what will the reforms mean for corporate treasurers, and a conclusion." Regarding "What will happen," he says, "All new funds after the 21st of July, 2018 will need to comply with the reforms. All existing funds must convert into one of the formats prescribed by the 21st of January, 2019. This format will allow three (3) months for new funds and nine (9) months for existing funds."

He explains, "The three (3) broad funds currently available to investors are: short-term constant net asset value, short-term variable net asset value, and standard variable net asset value funds. Post-reform, the investment bandwidth of the VNAV funds will be limited to government securities only.... Short-term and standard VNAVs will continue to exist in a broadly comparable format to today's funds with some minor differences. There will be a new fund type: Low Volatility Net Asset Value (LVNAV).... The advent of the LVNAV fund-type is significant; we anticipate it will become the most popular fund type in Europe overall (post-reform)."

Sewell explains, "What we have heard from the fund providers is the peak of transition of the majority funds in or around the fourth quarter of this year. The types of funds available after this transition are still seeking approval.... Current funds have not begun adjusting themselves to conform to the new regulations yet.... Even without the funds making any adjustments, the vast majority has liquidity in excess of the 30% discretion threshold level. All of them have significantly more liquidity than the mandatory threshold."

He adds, "The pricing of LVNAVs is another important point. If it [moves] more than 20 bps with its book value, it moves to variable pricing. A technicality of this is the funds do not actually change type. Theoretically, LVNAVs can move to variable pricing, but remains an LVNAV even though it would be pricing on a variable basis. If the price moves back closer to the book value, it will move back to being a stable-price LVNAV."

Finally, Sewell and Price comment, "The key takeaways are: Updating investment guidelines to accommodate the post-reform fund types and characteristics is a priority; The reforms are coming in July 2018 for new funds and January 2019 for existing funds; LVNAV will look and feel much like today's CNAVs but also has specific, distinctive characteristics which are important to understand; How corporate treasurers react, and how funds manage the transition process will be key sensitivities as we get closer to the final implementation; Europe is unlikely to see the massive flows from prime to government funds we saw in the U.S.; and, Fitch's global rating criteria is applicable to all short-term MMF types."

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