We're officially taking this year's Money Fund University virtual! Please join us for the 11th annual Crane's Money Fund University, which will take place Jan. 21-22, 2021, online. (We had been scheduled for Pittsburgh, but had to cancel due to coronavirus.) Money Fund University offers an affordable and comprehensive, day-and-a-half, "basic training" course on money market mutual funds. MFU covers 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. New portfolio managers, analysts, investors, issuers, service providers, and anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of "cash" investing will benefit from our comprehensive program. Even experienced professionals should enjoy this refresher course and the opportunity to interact with peers in an informal setting. Attendee registration is $250 and sponsorship opportunities are $1K, $2K, $3K and $5K. (Note: Thanks to those who attended and supported yesterday's European Money Fund Symposium Online. The recording is available for those who missed it, and see our initial coverage below and watch for more in coming days.)

Our virtual Money Fund University will kick off Thursday, January 21 at 1pm ET with live segments, including: "Welcome to Money Fund University, History & Current State of Money Funds" (1-1:45pm) featuring our Peter Crane; "The Federal Reserve & Money Markets" (1:45-2:30pm), with Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Olivia Lima; "Instruments of the Money Markets Intro" (2:45-3:30pm) with J.P. Morgan Asset Management's Teresa Ho; and, "Credit Analysis & Portfolio Management" (3:30-4:15pm), with JP Morgan AM's Robert Motroni.

Following the live sessions, three pre-recorded sessions will be available. These include: "Instruments: Treasuries & Government Agencies" featuring Federated Hermes' Sue Hill and TD Securities Matt Lachance; "Instruments: Commercial Paper & ABCP" featuring Citi's Jean-Luc Sinniger; and "Instruments: CDs, TDs & Bank Debt" featuring Wells Fargo Securities' Vanessa McMichael and Bank Hapoalim's Marian Trano.

Day 2 of our virtual Money Fund University will begin with, "Money Fund Regulations: 2a-7 Basics" (1-1:45pm) featuring Dechert's Stephen Cohen and Stradley Ronon's Jamie Gershkow; "Offshore Money Funds & Ultra-Shorts" (1:45-2:30pm), with Peter Crane, Sullivan and Worcester's John Hunt and Fidelity Investments' Kerry Pope; and "Money Fund Data & Wisdom Demo/Training" (2:45-3:15pm). The conference will wrap up with a brief graduation ceremony at 3:15pm.

Following the live sessions of Day 2, an additional three pre-recorded sessions will be available. These include: "Instruments: Repurchase Agreements" featuring J.P. Morgan Securities' Jake Kruk; "Instruments: Tax-Exempt Securities & VRDNs" featuring Fidelity Investments' John Vetter; and "Ratings, Monitoring & Performance" featuring Fitch Ratings' Greg Fayvilevich and S&P Global's Joseph Giarratano.

Also, please join us for our next free webinar, Crane's Money Fund Wisdom Demo & Training on Dec. 16 from 1-2:00pmET. This session will feature Peter Crane discussing money fund data and giving a product tutorial on our Money Fund Wisdom product "suite" and Money Fund Intelligence data. Finally, mark your calendars for our future events: Bond Fund Symposium, scheduled for March 25-26, 2021, in Newport Beach, Calif (or virtual); Money Fund Symposium, scheduled for June 23-25, 2021 in Philadelphia; and European Money Fund Symposium, scheduled for October 21-22, 2021 in Paris, France.

In related news, Crane Data hosted its most recent virtual event, European Money Fund Symposium Online yesterday. The event featured a morning of presentations and discussions on European and "offshore" money market mutual fund topics. Patrick Rooney of Irish Funds reviewed statistics of money funds domiciled in Ireland and discussed MMFs during the Covid-19 crisis in his session, "Money Funds in Ireland & European Regulations." We quote from this segment below. (Thanks again to our attendees, excellent speakers and sponsors! If you missed it, the recording is available here. Watch for more coverage in coming days.)

Rooney explains, "On sales and redemptions ... we can take a look at how Irish MMFs were impacted by the Covid crisis.... The first thing to really note ... is that large subscriptions and redemptions -- large movements in and out of money market funds -- are nothing new. This is part of the normal cycle, the flow in money market funds.... You can see that in January, for example, before the crisis hit. But that said, there was a clear spike in activity in March, associated with the onset of the Covid crisis. You can see a steep increase in redemptions, but also subscriptions over the entire month. And this is even over the entire month and across all money market fund products. It's interesting that the high level of subscriptions, nearly matches the high level of redemptions, giving us a net outflow of just 4.4 billion euro, which is less than one percent of assets. Of course, that's at an aggregate high-level picture."

He continues, "During the crisis there were two clear trends in terms of investor activity that have been identified. The first was redemptions in the so-called 'dash for cash,' where investors were looking to redeem to meet operational needs and corporates were building up their cash reserves. So that was very apparent. Then secondly, as I mentioned, we saw a big flow of investors moving into government funds in a time of uncertainty.... In order to see this more clearly, we need to delve a bit deeper."

Rooney adds, "[A] table is taken from the Central Bank of Ireland's recent publication on the effects of the pandemic on money market funds and money markets ... relates to the period of the 12th to the 23rd of March, which was the most intense period of outflows during the Covid crisis. This shows the outflows by various product categories as a percentage of their NAV at the end of February. The average outflows is 10 percent of NAV. The situation for the US dollar denomination LVNAV was different, where a higher outflow of 23 percent was recorded. And what's interesting, it's over the same period the public debt CNAV denominated in US dollars was seeing large inflows as investors moved their money in this currency, from LVNAV to government funds because of its safe haven status."

He goes on, "What's very interesting is you can see that when you combine the two flows, as the central bank has done on this chart, the US dollar LVNAV and the US dollar PDCNAV, the net outflows converge on the industry average of 10 percent. This was very much a move by investors within MMFs as opposed to away from MMFs, and I think explains the higher level of redemptions in the US denominated LVNAV. It's a pattern that we've seen before, so it's not unexpected."

Rooney also comments, "The onset of the crisis was swift as we know and created redemption pressures for MMFs, but it's important to note that all redemptions were met without exception. And it's important to note as well that Euro and GBP MMFs in Ireland continued to pick up assets during the crisis, as did the US dollar PDCNAV [public debt constant NAV].... So, investors were not at all dissuaded from using MMFs during this time, and rather the industry has come out of this crisis with more assets than it had going in."

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