As we wrote earlier this month (and reprint here), our January MFI issue recognized the top performing money funds, ranked by total returns, for calendar year 2020, as well as the top funds for the past 5‐year and 10‐year periods. We present the funds below with our annual Money Fund Intelligence Awards. These are given to the No. 1‐ranked funds based on 1‐year, 5‐year and 10‐year returns, through Dec. 31, 2020, in each of our major fund categories — Prime Institutional, Government Institutional, Treasury Institutional, Prime Retail, Government Retail, Treasury Retail and Tax‐Exempt. (Note: We're still taking registrations for tomorrow's Money Fund University ($250), which takes place the afternoons of Jan. 21-22. Crane Data Subscribers and MFU Attendees may visit the "Money Fund University 2021 Download Center" to access conference materials and recordings.)

The Top-Performing Prime Institutional fund (and fund overall) was BlackRock Cash Inst MMF SL (BRC01), which returned 0.94%, but Western Asset Prem Inst Liquid Res Capital (WAAXX) was first if restricted funds are excluded with a return of 0.69%. For Prime Retail funds, Wells Fargo MMF Prm (WMPXX) had the best return in 2020 (0.68%). The Top‐Performing Govt Institutional fund in 2020 was Northern Instit Govt Select Svc (BSCXX), which returned 0.53%. Vanguard Cash Reserves Federal MM Admin (VMRXX) was the Top Government Retail fund over 1‐year with a return of 0.57%. BlackRock Cash Treas MMF Inst (BRIXX) ranked No. 1 in the Treasury Institutional class with a return of 0.52%. Federated Hermes Trust for US Treas Obl IS (TTOXX) was No. 1 among Treasury Retail funds, returning 0.34%.

For the 5‐year period through Dec. 31, 2020, DWS ESG Liquidity Cap (ESIXX) took top honors for the best performing `Prime Institutional money fund with a return of 1.39%. Fidelity Inv MM: MM Port Inst (FNSXX) ranked No. 1 among Prime Retail with an annualized return of 1.32%. Dreyfus Inst Pref Govt Plus MF (DRF03) and UBS Select Govt Preferred (SGPXX) ranked No. 1 among Govt Institutional funds with returns of 1.14%, while Vanguard Federal Money Mkt Fund (VMFXX) ranked No. 1 among Govt Retail funds over the past 5 years with a return of 1.10%. BlackRock Cash Treas MMF SL (BRC03) ranked No. 1 in 5‐year performance among Treasury Inst funds with a return of 1.10%. Vanguard Treasury Money Market (VUSXX) ranked No. 1 if restricted funds are excluded. Federated Hermes Trust for US Treas Obl IS (TTOXX) ranks No. 1 among Treasury Retail funds with a return of 1.00%.

The highest performer of the past 10 years and No. 1 among Prime Inst MMFs was BlackRock Cash Inst MMF SL (BRC01), or Morgan Stanley Inst Liq ESG MMP Inst (MPUXX) if you exclude restricted funds. They returned 0.81% and 0.73%, respectively. Fidelity Inv MM: MM Port Inst (FNSXX), which returned 0.74%, was best among Prime Retail. Dreyfus Inst Pref Govt Plus MF (DRF03) and DWS Govt MM Series Instit (ICAXX), which returned 0.62% and 0.60%, respectively, ranked No. 1 among Govt Inst funds (and unrestricted Govt Inst funds). Vanguard Federal Money Mkt Fund (VMFXX) ranked No. 1 among Govt Retail funds, returning 0.56%. BlackRock Cash Treas MMF SL (BRC03) and Vanguard Treasury Money Market (VUSXX) returned the most among Treasury Inst funds over the past 10 years at 0.56% and 0.56%. Federated Hermes Trust for US Treas Obl IS (TTOXX) ranked No. 1 among Treasury Retail MMFs at 0.50%.

Finally, we also gave out awards for the best‐performing Tax‐Exempt money funds. Federated Hermes Muni Obligs WS (MOFXX) ranked No. 1 for the 1‐year, 5-year and 10-year period ended Dec. 31, 2020, with returns of 0.60%, 0.92% and 0.50%, respectively.

In other news, a press release entitled, "CAVU Securities Announces New Money Market Portfolios tells us, "CAVU Securities, LLC (CAVU), a registered broker dealer and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) that is both US Veteran and Minority owned and operated ... announced the launch of three shares classes delivered by Invesco Global Liquidity." (See our Dec 18 Link of the Day, "Invesco Files for Cavu Secs Class.")

It continues, "The new product offerings include the CAVU Securities Treasury Portfolio (Symbol: CVTXX), the CAVU Securities Government & Agency Portfolio (Symbol: CVGXX) and the CAVU Securities Liquid Assets Portfolio (Symbol: CVPXX). These products deliver the deep institutional experience, expertise, scale and investment track record of Invesco while also serving as a solution to treasurers and cash management investors who share CAVU's focus on and commitment to making an impact via Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) directives. The new share classes seek to maximize current income within a framework geared to maximum safety of principal and liquidity."

The release adds, "CAVU Securities recognizes the fact that, as a financial intermediary, we help facilitate the flow of capital and provide unusual access for investors in helping them to fulfill ESG mandates and realize ESG goals. Since its beginnings, CAVU has been committed, through its actions and monetary giving, to driving positive impact within minority and veteran constituencies as well as the community at large. The introduction of these share classes represents CAVU's continuously evolving actions to support its clients within this framework."

News source ignites covered the news in its article, "Invesco, B-D Launch 'Impact' Shares." They tell us, "A broker-dealer has partnered with Invesco to launch a new 'impact-oriented' share class on three of the Atlanta-based firm's money market funds, the companies announced this week. The $36 billion Invesco Government & Agency Portfolio, $21.6 billion Invesco Treasury Portfolio and $2.2 billion Invesco Liquid Asset Portfolio added the share classes last month, says Greg Parsons, CEO and founder of Cavu Securities, the broker-dealer that will distribute the share classes. Parsons is also CEO of Semper Capital, a role he has held since 2008, according to his LinkedIn profile. Cavu, founded in 2013, also distributes some of Semper's products."

The piece explains, "The money funds will continue to follow Invesco's investment mandate. About 10% of the gross revenue derived from the new share classes will be donated to nonprofit organizations selected by Cavu, Parsons says. These nonprofits include organizations such as Girls Who Code, The Vera Institute of Justice and Dog Tag, which tackles issues such as veteran transition, mental health, social justice and lack of diversity."

Ignites explains, "The expense ratios of the new share classes match those of each fund's institutional share class, a Cavu spokesperson says. The institutional share class of the Liquid Asset Portfolio and the Treasury portfolio charge 18 basis points, according to disclosures. The total expense ratio for the institutional share class of the Government & Agency Portfolio is 15 bps. Investors will need at least $1 million to access the new share class, Parsons notes. He expects the products to gain traction from both the institutional community and financial intermediaries who have a mandate to manage cash, he says."

They comment, "There are currently at least 13 ESG-focused money market funds with roughly $25.6 billion in asset under management as of Dec. 31, according to Crane Data. A handful of money market funds with social mandates focus on doing business with minority-owned companies, says Peter Crane, president and publisher at Crane Data. Five money market funds have 'veteran share classes' that aim to help or work with veteran-owned businesses, Crane notes. JPMorgan Asset Management, for example, has four money market funds that are sold only through Academy Securities, a brokerage with strong ties to veterans. BlackRock's $137 billion FedFund and $1.3 billion Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund also offer a share class that's available only to clients of Mischler Financial Group, a disabled veteran-owned broker-dealer."

Ignites writes, "Other ESG-focused money market funds have ESG considerations embedded in their investment mandates, Crane explains. For example, BlackRock's Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund steers clear of securities that derive more than 5% of their revenue from fossil fuel mining, nuclear energy–based power generation and other activities that are detrimental to the environment, according to the fund's brochure." Crane comments, "Margins are razor thin in the money market fund space.... It remains to be seen whether it's an easy or tough sale when you tell investors you're giving away a basis point or some of the returns."

For more Crane Data News on ESG, see: ESG and Social MMF Update: Mischler News, Green Deposits, Reg Debate; Academy Launches Treasury MMFs; Goldman Launches Social Class; Tiedemann Adds FICA; CS Green ABCP; Mischler Financial Joins "Impact" or Social Money Market Investing Wave and Dreyfus Launches "Impact" or Diversity Government Money Market Fund.

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