MFI Distribution Survey

MFI Distribution Survey Sample Wells Fargo Securities' Garret Sloan and Vanessa Hubbard write in their latest "Daily Short Stuff," "Last week we commented on the significant week-over-week jump in the SIFMA index.... This week there has been another dramatic increase as the index reset 31 basis points higher yesterday, beating last week's move as the largest weekly climb since the end of 2008. All of the reasons we gave last week for the recent rise are still relevant, most notably end of year supply and liquidity dynamics. In the month of December, the weekly SIFMA index has gained 71 basis points over four short weeks. To put this move into perspective, from January 2017 to the first week in December, the index has climbed just 32 basis points. This 32 basis point move over 49 weeks withstood three Fed fund rate hikes of 25 basis points each. Year-end liquidity constraints are exasperating the upward trajectory in the weekly SIFMA index." They add, "Similarly, but not as dramatic, commercial paper rates have risen quickly over the past few weeks as well mostly attributed to end of year liquidity dynamics. The 5-day moving average for 30 day Tier-1 nonfinancial CP according to Fed data has risen by about 27 basis points in the month of December and the index for Tier-1 financial CP has risen by 24 basis points. Tier-2 CP rates have climbed in aggregate an average of 35 basis points over this same timeframe. Supply has also increased over this period with commercial paper outstanding on a seasonally adjusted basis growing from $1.05 trillion at the beginning of December to $1.08 trillion last week."

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MFI Distribution Survey News

Jan 23
 

This month, MFI interviews BlackRock's Global Head of Cash Management Tom Callahan. He discusses a number of issues in the money market fund space, including the outlook for 2020, technology, ESG, European money funds and more. Our Q&A follows. (Note: The following is reprinted from the January issue of Money Fund Intelligence, which was published on Jan. 8. Contact us at info@cranedata.com to request the full issue or to subscribe. Also, for those attending Crane's Money Fund University, which takes place Thursday and Friday morning, welcome to Providence! Attendees and Crane Data subscribers may access our conference materials at the bottom of our "Content" page or our via our Money Fund University 2020 Download Center. Feel free to drop by the Providence Renaissance if you're in town!)

MFI: Give us some history. Callahan: BlackRock's Cash business is actually older than BlackRock itself. You can trace our history back to 1973 when TempFund was launched by Provident National Bank. In '95, when PNC made an investment in BlackRock, they merged their entire fixed income business, including their money funds, into BlackRock. Cash has been a core, critical part of BlackRock’s franchise since the firm was founded.

For my own history, I came to BlackRock in 2013, by way of Merrill Lynch and the New York Stock Exchange. When I joined, the Cash management industry was plagued by zero interest rates, outflows and fee waivers. Back then, BlackRock's cash management business had roughly $250 billion. Now, 5 1/2 years later, we have enjoyed terrific growth, much of it organic. As we announced in our last earnings report, in mid-2019 we crossed our long-term goal of $500 billion in total client cash management assets, and we've kept growing! It's been a great run and a lot of fun.

MFI: What are your big priorities? Callahan: Let me start with technology and then talk a little bit about LEAF. They're both absolutely critical, and I believe are indicative of the profound changes happening industry-wide right now. Competition around technology is heating up in a very healthy way. I think this was really precipitated by Money Fund Reform in 2016, when we saw $1 trillion move out of Prime funds. The cash management industry has always been a relatively commoditized business, but when essentially 80% of the assets in the industry moved into government funds, it became hyper-commoditized.

That dynamic then intersects with the longer-term trends of clients' use of portals and intermediaries -- which are taking a larger percentage of the total volume in the industry every year. I think a lot of us, certainly at BlackRock, realized that we needed a different distribution strategy. That's what led us to acquire Cachematrix in 2017. In the last 12 months, other large providers have announced new investments in their own tech platforms. So, I think it's clear that the new competitive front in cash management is technology.

We believe that what clients care most about in cash is convenience. And the way to deliver convenience to clients is through technology. These tech-driven enhancements are ultimately going to benefit clients through enhanced ease of use, improved functionality, better transparency and ultimately lower fees. More recently, we acquired the NEX Treasury platform to try to expand in the European market. We're continuing to invest enormous amounts of time, energy and resources to making sure that we stay on the cutting edge of this technology transformation that's happening in cash management.

The second transformation that I think is underway in cash management is sustainability. ESG funds are quickly moving from being interesting fringe products to the mainstream. We launched the Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund, or LEAF, very early on in the movement, in April 2019, largely in response to client demand. Since launch, the LEAF family of funds has been incredibly successful. Across the four funds (U.S. domestic, plus offshore Dollar, Sterling and Euro), we're coming up on $8 billion in assets combined. We've really seen stunning growth in such a short period of time. What we've uncovered is that bringing values-based investing to cash is resonating with investors, frankly, even more than we even expected.

We built our LEAF funds to be a no brainer. They are priced and perform nearly identically to the traditional options. So if you can buy a large, liquid, diversified money fund that is green, offers benefits in terms of sustainability, all while getting nearly the same return that you would get in a traditional cash product, we think that is an incredibly compelling value proposition. LEAF has some other features that help make this fund truly unique. A partnership with World Wildlife Fund helps support their ongoing conservation efforts and helps us make better investment decisions. We also take 5% of the revenue of the fund to buy and retire carbon offsets.... It seems like every month there are new funds announced and if we look out three or four years, ESG funds will be the default, not the exception in cash.

MFI: What are your biggest challenges? Callahan: I would say our biggest challenge, and luckily it plays to all of our strengths, is just managing scale. If you add up all of our client assets and also the funds that we manage for other BlackRock products, we're now managing over $800 billion and our yearly trading volume is measured in the tens of trillions. Doing that in an efficient, scalable way that relies on technology and doesn't expose us to any undue risk, that's our biggest challenge today.

Most of the inflows that you saw in 2019 went to the largest players. In a way, it almost appears to me that the industry is organically consolidating -- i.e., there is such a huge preference from clients for big, scaled funds that those funds are naturally attracting most of the new money. So the big are getting bigger which, fortunately, offers advantages to clients in terms of liquidity and diversity. But what it means for us as a provider is that we need to be constantly investing in our systems and our platforms to be as efficient as we can. Luckily, our global business is built on the Aladdin platform, which is the best investment technology and risk management platform in the industry.

MFI: How are you positioning the funds? Callahan: In terms of positioning of the portfolios, generally we think that the risk is to lower yields. [A] new geopolitical risk has arisen, and the market really hasn't changed its pricing in terms of Fed expectations, with only one cut currently priced in for 2020. We've seen that the Fed is willing to cut rates at any sign of an economic slowdown. We think given where we are in the business cycle and where risk assets are priced, there is a very asymmetric risk towards lower rates.

Fortunately, to help us manage through this risk, we think we have some of the best PMs in the business. Rich Mejzak is our global cash CIO and he's been here since the MLIM days. On the government fund side, Joe Markowski, Eion D'Anjou, Chris Linsky and team are fantastic. They were here through the crisis, [and] reforms in '16. [W]e are very lucky to have that steady hand in Philadelphia investing our clients' assets.

MFI: Any customer concerns? Callahan: The number one concern we hear from clients is managing their own time and bandwidth. I think since the financial crisis, the role of the corporate treasurer and the definition of what that job encompasses has expanded three-or-four-fold. Ultimately, what our corporate treasurer clients care about more than anything is convenience. They don't want to have to stress about the task of cash investing. They want it to be effortless [and] integrated with other tools ... like TMSs. They want automation. They want sweeps. They want to 'set it and forget it.' That's why we're investing in technology the way that we are and I think that's why the industry is moving so aggressively in this direction.

MFI: What about fees and waivers? Callahan: If you look across the industry, I think cash management has been more resistant to fee compression than some other sectors of the asset management industry. I think there are a couple of reasons behind that. One of them, again, is that scale in cash is just so critical. The other are the various hidden taxes money fund investors are paying currently in terms of distribution fees. Most money fund providers pay in certain distribution networks over half their management fee to their distributors, which ultimately reduces the return investors earn. I think that as technology evolves and as greater competition is created in the distribution, buying and selling of money funds, a lot of those implied fees and tolls will be reduced. That's what technology does. It eliminates fees and reliance on middlemen. So, I do think you will see distribution fees drop due to technology and then you will see money fund fees drop commensurately as well.

MFI: What about ultra-short or offshore? Callahan: 2019 was a year where every single sector you just mentioned saw record or near record inflows. Our core Government funds, our Prime funds, our LEAF funds, our SMAs, all grew across both onshore and offshore. I think the offshore story is really an incredible one. This time last year we were all in the teeth of European Money Fund Reform and there was a huge amount of uncertainty. The fact that not only did we not see outflows in our funds but we actually hit new record highs was one of the great successes of 2019. We also saw fantastic growth of our SMA book in EMEA and APAC.

We have a fund called Short Obligations, which is our U.S. Ultra-Short Bond Fund. For us, it's a high net worth product that two years ago had $200 million in assets. It crossed $3 billion last year. For high net worth clients looking to get a slightly enhanced return on their cash by accepting floating NAV and going out a few months in duration, it has proved to be a homerun product, especially in a declining yield environment. It was another really strong performer for us in 2019.

MFI: What about the future? Callahan: I think that the industry has enormous room to continue to grow. I'm very, very bullish on the future of money funds. 2019 was a spectacular year for the industry and it was a terrific double-digit growth year for BlackRock's cash management business. It's not a surprise when you look at the shape of the yield curve, overall volatility in the markets, M&A activity, etc., all of those things kind of conspired together to create an ideal environment. Clients could earn, for much of 2019, 2.25-2.5% in a money fund, while the 10-year Treasury was yielding 1.60%.

I think for a lot of investors that was a no brainer. It was a really positive year for the industry. As great as 2019 was, I believe there is room for even more growth in 2020. You could make an argument that the cash management industry could double again in the coming years, which is exciting.

I firmly believe that transformative technology is going to be that growth accelerant. It's going to make money market funds cheaper, easier to use and more transparent. It's going to diminish or eliminate all the headaches of account setups and complexity around buying and selling of money funds. The lesson of the digital economy is when you make things easier to buy and sell, people buy and sell more of them.

Jan 14
 

Below, we reprint the article, "Top Money Funds of 2019; 11th Annual MFI Awards," from the January edition of our Money Fund Intelligence.... In this issue, we recognize the top-performing money funds, ranked by total returns, for calendar year 2019, 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, 2019, in each of our major fund categories -- Prime Institutional, Government Institutional, Treasury Institutional, Prime Retail, Government Retail, Treasury Retail and Tax‐Exempt.

The Top-Performing Prime Institutional fund (and fund overall) was BlackRock Cash Inst MMF SL (BRC01), which returned 2.49% (with 125 funds total), but DWS ESG Liquidity Inst (ESGXX) was first if restricted funds are excluded with a return of 2.41%. For Prime Retail funds, Vanguard Variable Insurance MM Fund (VAN03) ranked No. 1 (2.32%, 81 funds total), but Fidelity Inv MM: MM Port Inst (FNSXX) had the best return in 2019 (2.30%) if restricted funds are excluded.

The Top‐Performing Government Institutional funds in 2019 were Fidelity Flex Govt Money Market Fund (FLGXX) and Fidelity Series Govt Money Market Fund (FGNXX), which both returned 2.27% (144 funds total). AIG Govt MMF Class A (SMAXX) and American Century US Govt MM G (AGGXX) were the Top Government Retail funds over 1‐year with returns of 2.25% (155 funds total).

BlackRock Select Treas Strategies Inst (MLSXX) ranked No. 1 in the Treasury Institutional class with a return of 2.39% (134 funds total). Federated Trust for US Treas Obl IS (TTOXX) was No. 1 among Treasury Retail funds, returning 2.05% (72 funds total).

Top Funds over Past Five Years. For the 5‐year period through Dec. 31, 2019, DWS ESG Liquidity Cap (ESIXX) took top honors for the best performing Prime Institutional money fund with a return of 1.31% (108 funds total). Fidelity Inv MM: MM Port Inst (FNSXX) ranked No. 1 among Prime Retail with an annualized return of 1.23% (62 funds total).

Dreyfus Inst Pref Govt Plus MF (DRF03) ranked No. 1 among Govt Institutional funds with a return of 1.06% (103 funds total), while Vanguard Federal Money Mkt Fund (VMFXX) ranked No. 1 among Govt Retail funds over the past 5 years with a return of 1.01% (137 funds total). BlackRock Select Treas Strategies Inst (MLSXX) ranked No. 1 in 5‐year performance among Treasury Inst money funds with a return of 1.00% (117 funds total). Federated Trust for US Treas Obl IS (TTOXX) ranked No. 1 among Treasury Retail funds with a return of 0.94% (66 funds total).

Best Money Funds of the Decade. 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 0.74% and 0.68%, respectively (97 funds total). Fidelity Inv MM: MM Port Inst (FNSXX), which returned 0.71% (62 funds total), was best among Prime Retail.

UBS Liquid Assets Govt Fund (UBS02), which returned 0.60% (99 funds total), (No. 1 among Govt Inst funds); Vanguard Federal Money Mkt Fund (VMFXX) ranked No. 1 among Govt Retail funds, returning 0.51% (132 funds total). BlackRock Select Treas Strategies Inst (MLSXX) returned the most among Treasury Inst funds over the past 10 years at 0.56% (104 funds total). Federated Trust for US Treas Obl IS (TTOXX) ranked No. 1 among Treasury Retail MMFs at 0.47% (104 funds total).

Top Tax‐Exempt Funds. We're also giving out awards for the best‐performing Tax‐Exempt money funds. Fidelity SAI Muni Money Market Fund (FMQXX) ranked No. 1 for the 1‐year period ended Dec. 31, 2019, with a return of 1.55% (88 funds total). Over the last 5 years, Federated Municipal Obligs WS (MOFXX) was the top performer with a return of 0.81% (83 funds total). BMO Tax Free MMF Premier (MFIXX) was the top‐ranked fund for the 10‐year period with a return of 0.48% (78 funds total).

See the MFI Award Winner listings on page 6 of the MFI newsletter, and see our latest MFI XLS for more detailed rankings. The tables on page 6 show the No. 1 ranked money fund for each category based on 1‐year, 5‐year, and 10‐year annualized total returns.

Jan 08
 

The January issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which was sent out to subscribers Wednesday morning, features the articles: "Highlights of '19: Assets Grow 20%; Inst, ESG Big Stories," which discusses the biggest cash stories of 2019; "BlackRock's Callahan Talks Cash, Tech, 2020," which profiles BlackRock's Global Head of Cash Management Tom Callahan; and, "Top Money Funds of 2019; 11th Annual MFI Awards," which writes about the top-performing money funds of 2019. We've also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database with Dec. 31 statistics, and sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Wednesday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are all available to subscribers via our Content center.) Our January Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to ship on Friday, Jan. 10, and our Jan. Bond Fund Intelligence is scheduled to go out Wednesday, Jan. 15.

MFI's "Highlights of '19" article says, "Money fund assets jumped by over 20% in 2019, their fastest growth since 2008 (and one of the biggest years ever), even as yields retreated due to three cuts in the Federal funds target rate. Prime funds and retail MMFs continued their recovery, but heavier inflows were seen by Government and Institutional money funds. And unlike in 2018, money funds didn't benefit from declines in stocks and bonds. Below, we take a look at the highlights of 2019, and also provide a brief outlook for 2020."

It continues, "Crane Data's numbers showed assets rose by $707.7 billion, or 22.0%, to end just shy of $4.0 trillion ($3.992 trillion) in 2019. The SEC's MMF statistics collection, which is slightly larger than Crane Data's but released later, will likely show assets breaking $4.0 trillion in 2019. ICI's narrower asset collection settled at $3.632 trillion, up by $584 billion, or 19.2%."

Our "BlackRock" piece reads, "This month, we interview Tom Callahan, BlackRock's Global Head of Cash Management. We discuss a number of issues in the money market fund space, including the outlook for 2020, technology, ESG, European money funds and more. Our Q&A follows."

MFI says, "Give us some history. Callahan responds, "BlackRock's Cash business is actually older than BlackRock itself. You can trace our history back to 1973 when TempFund was launched by Provident National Bank. In '95, when PNC made an investment in BlackRock, they merged their entire fixed income business, including their money funds, into BlackRock. Cash has been a core, critical part of BlackRock’s franchise since the firm was founded."

He continues, "For my own history, I came to BlackRock in 2013, by way of Merrill Lynch and the New York Stock Exchange. When I joined, the Cash management industry was plagued by zero interest rates, outflows and fee waivers. Back then, BlackRock's cash management business had roughly $250 billion. Now, 5 1/2 years later, we have enjoyed terrific growth, much of it organic. As we announced in our last earnings report, in mid-2019 we crossed our long-term goal of $500 billion in total client cash management assets, and we've kept growing! It's been a great run and a lot of fun."

Our "Top Money Funds" piece says, "This issue recognizes the top performing money funds, ranked by total returns, for calendar year 2019, 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, 2019, in each of our major fund categories -- Prime Institutional, Government Institutional, Treasury Institutional, Prime Retail, Government Retail, Treasury Retail and Tax‐Exempt."

It continues, "The Top-Performing Prime Institutional fund (and fund overall) was BlackRock Cash Inst MMF SL (BRC01), which returned 2.49%, but DWS ESG Liquidity Inst (ESGXX) was first if restricted funds are excluded with a return of 2.41%. For Prime Retail funds, Vanguard Variable Insurance MM Fund (VAN03) ranked No. 1 (2.32%), but Fidelity Inv MM: MM Port Inst (FNSXX) had the best return in 2019 (2.30%) if restricted funds are excluded."

The latest MFI also includes the News brief, "Money Market Yields Flat," which says, "Rates on money market funds, brokerage sweep accounts and bank accounts remained flat in December and early January after falling in the weeks after the Fed’s last (Oct. 30) rate cut."

A second News piece, "SEC Stats: MMF Assets Poised to Break $4.0 Tril, Up 17th Month in a Row," reads, "The Securities and Exchange Commission's separate 'Money Market Fund Statistics' summary shows total money fund assets increased by $45.6 billion in November to a record $3.984 trillion, the 17th straight month of gains for money fund assets overall. Prime MMFs increased $20.2 billion in November to close at $1.122 trillion, their highest level since July 2016, while Govt & Treasury funds rose by $24.2 billion to a record $2.718 trillion. Tax Exempt funds rose by $1.2 billion to $143.8 billion. Yields fell across the board with Prime MMFs, Govt MMFs and Tax-Exempt MMFs all decreasing in November."

Our January MFI XLS, with Dec. 31 data, shows total assets rose by $72.7 billion in December to $3.994 trillion, after rising $40.9 billion in November, $85.2 billion in October and $80.2 billion in September. Our broad Crane Money Fund Average 7-Day Yield fell to 1.31% during the month, while our Crane 100 Money Fund Index (the 100 largest taxable funds) was down 4 basis points to 1.46%.

On a Gross Yield Basis (7-Day) (before expenses are taken out), the Crane MFA fell 4 basis points to 1.72% and the Crane 100 fell to 1.73%. Charged Expenses averaged 0.41% (up one basis point from last month) and 0.27% (up one basis point from last month), respectively for the Crane MFA and Crane 100. The average WAM (weighted average maturity) for the Crane MFA and Crane 100 was 33 (up one day) and 37 days (unchanged), respectively. (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)

Jan 02
 

With the coming of the New Year, Crane Data is ramping up preparations for its 2020 conference calendar and for its big show, Money Fund Symposium. Crane's Money Fund Symposium, the largest gathering of money market fund managers and cash investors in the world, will take place June 24-26, 2020 at The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, in Minneapolis, Minn. The preliminary agenda is now available and registrations are now being taken. Money Fund Symposium attracts money fund managers, marketers and servicers, cash investors, money market securities dealers, issuers, and regulators. We review our draft agenda (which is still in flux), as well as the rest of Crane Data's 2020 conferences, below.

Our MF Symposium Agenda kicks off on Wednesday, June 24 with a keynote on "Money Funds, Banking & Funding" from Jim Palmer of U.S. Bancorp A.M. (and likely another U.S. Bank speaker). The rest of the Day 1 agenda includes: "Treasury Issuance & Repo Update," with Mark Cabana of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Tom Katzenbach of the U.S. Treasury; a "Corporate Investor, Portal & ESG MMF Discussion" with Tom Callahan of BlackRock, Tom Hunt of AFP, and Mark Adamson of Wells Fargo Securities; and, a "Major Money Fund Issues 2020" panel with Tracy Hopkins of Dreyfus/BNY Mellon Cash Investment Strategies, Jeff Weaver of Wells Fargo Asset Management and Peter Yi of Northern Trust Asset Management. (The evening's reception is sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.)

Day 2 of Money Fund Symposium 2020 begins with "The State of the Money Fund Industry," which features Peter Crane of Crane Data and Deborah Cunningham of Federated Investors, followed by a "Senior Portfolio Manager Perspectives" panel, including Linda Klingman of Charles Schwab I.M., Nafis Smith of Vanguard and John Tobin of J.P. Morgan Asset Mgmt. Next up is "Government & Treasury Money Fund Issues," with Mike Bird of Wells Fargo Funds and Geoff Gibbs of DWS. The morning concludes with a "Muni & Tax Exempt Money Fund Update," featuring Colleen Meehan of Dreyfus, John Vetter of Fidelity and Sean Saroya of J.P. Morgan Securities.

The Afternoon of Day 2 (after a Dreyfus-sponsored lunch) features the segments: "Dealer's Choice: Supply, New Securities & CP" with moderator, Jeff Plotnik of U.S. Bancorp Asset Mgmt., Robe Crowe of Citi Global Markets, John Kodweis of J.P. Morgan Securities and Stewart Cutler of Barclays; "Fund Ratings Focus: Governance, Global & LGIPs" with Robert Callagy of Moody's Investors Service, Greg Fayvilevich of Fitch Ratings, and Michael Masih of S&P Global Ratings; "Ultra-Short, ETFs & Alt-Cash Update," with Alex Roever of J.P. Morgan Securities, Laurie Brignac of Invesco and Michael Morin of Fidelity Investments. The day's wrap-up presentation is "Brokerage Sweeps, Bank Deposits & Fin-Tech" involving Chris Melin of Ameriprise Financial and another speaker . (The Day 2 reception is sponsored by Barclays.)

The third day of the Symposium features the sessions: "Strategists Speak '20: Fed & Rates, Repo & SOFR" with Joseph Abate from the Barclays, Priya Misra of the TD Securities and Garret Sloan of Wells Fargo Securities; "Regulatory & Misc. Issues: ESG, ETF, European," with Brenden Carroll of Dechert LLP and Rob Sabatino of UBS Asset Mgmt; an additional session TBD; and, "Money Fund Statistics & Disclosures" with Peter Crane.

Visit the MF Symposium website at www.moneyfundsymposium.com) for more details. Registration is $750, and discounted hotel reservations are available. We hope you'll join us in Minneapolis this June! We'd like to encourage attendees, speakers and sponsors to register and make hotel reservations early. Note that some of our speakers have yet to confirm their participation, and the agenda is still in the process of being finalized, so watch for tweaks in coming weeks. E-mail us at info@cranedata.com to request the full brochure, or click here to see the latest.

In other Crane conference news, we're also making final preparations for Crane's Money Fund University, which will be held January 23-24, 2020 at the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel. Our 10th annual Money Fund University will cover the history of money funds, interest rates, regulations (Rule 2a-7), ratings, rankings, money market instruments such as commercial paper, CDs and repo, and portfolio construction and credit analysis. We also include segments on offshore money funds and ultra-short bond funds.

Money Fund University's comprehensive program is good for both beginners and experienced professionals looking for a refresher. The final agenda is available online and we are still accepting registrations. (We're also willing to "comp" tickets for large Crane Data or sponsor clients, so let us know if you're interested.) Register and make your hotel reservations ASAP!

We're also getting ready for our fourth annual Crane's Bond Fund Symposium, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Boston, March 23-24. (Click here to see the agenda.) Bond Fund Symposium is the only conference devoted entirely to bond mutual funds, bringing together bond fund managers, marketers, and professionals with fixed-income issuers, investors and service providers. The majority of the content is aimed at the growing ultra-short and conservative ultra-short bond fund marketplace.

Crane Data, which recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Bond Fund Intelligence publication and BFI XLS bond fund information service and benchmarks, continues to expand its fixed income fund offerings with the recent launch of Bond Fund Wisdom product and Bond Fund Portfolio Holdings dataset. Bond Fund Symposium offers attendees a concentrated and affordable educational experience, as well as an excellent networking venue. Registration for Bond Fund Symposium is $750; exhibit space is $2,000 (includes 2 tickets); and sponsorship opportunities are $3K, $4K, $5K and $6K. Our mission is to deliver the best possible conference content at an affordable price to bond fund professionals and investors.

Finally, we've also set the dates and location for our next European Money Fund Symposium. It is scheduled for Sept. 17-18, 2020, in Paris, France. Let us know if you'd like more details on any of our events, and we hope to see you in Providence, Boston, Minneapolis or Paris in 2020. Happy New Year!