Impact of SEC Rule Changes for Money Market Funds Regulatory Update

Over the past year, the SEC has been phasing in regulatory changes for money market funds resulting from adopted amendments to Rule 2a-7. These amendments were passed on July 12, 2023, in response to the stress that money market funds faced at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 when investors rapidly pulled more than $130 billion dollars from money market funds. As a result, the Treasury and Federal Reserve had to step in to provide emergency liquidity facilities to shore up the short-term funding market. The changes primarily focus on institutional prime and tax-exempt money market funds, which have historically been more susceptible to investor runs.

This regulatory update summarizes these changes as well as which fund types are impacted.

The Growing Popularity of Continuation Funds

Historically, the private equity secondary market has been used by limited partners (“LPs”) to sell exposures at the end of their lives and as such contained only tail-end exposures. Selling these lingering exposures to private equity funds allowed LPs to clean up their balance sheets and fueled the growth of secondary private equity funds within the broader private equity space. As the market evolved, however, higher-quality assets began transacting as investors started to use secondary markets as a useful portfolio management tool. More recently, general partners (“GPs”) have come to occupy an increasing percentage of the overall market. In 2023, about $110 billion in volume traded in private equity secondaries, with about 50% of the total transaction activity represented by GP-led transactions.

In this newsletter, we provide an overview of continuation funds, including their growth, structure, transaction requirements, and considerations for investors.

1Q 2024 Market Insights Video

This video is a recording of a live webinar held April 25 by Marquette’s research team analyzing the first quarter of 2024 across the economy and various asset classes and themes we’ll be monitoring in the coming months.

 Our quarterly Market Insights series examines the primary asset classes we cover for clients including the U.S. economy, fixed income, U.S. and non-U.S. equities, hedge funds, real assets, and private markets, with commentary by our research analysts and directors.

Featuring:
Greg Leonberger, FSA, EA, MAAA, FCA, Director of Research, Managing Partner
Frank Valle, CFA, CAIA, Senior Research Analyst
Catherine Hillier, Research Analyst
David Hernandez, CFA, Director of Traditional Manager Search
Evan Frazier, CFA, CAIA, Senior Research Analyst
Michael Carlton, Research Analyst
Amy Miller, Senior Research Analyst
Chad Sheaffer, CFA, CAIA, Senior Research Analyst

 

Sign up for research alerts to be invited to future webinars and notified when we publish new videos. If you have any questions, please send us an email.

Mind the Gap

Any ride on the London Tube reminds riders to mind the gap: Beware the space between train car and platform as you board and depart the train. A recent trip to London brought this phrase back to me and it seemed like a perfect description of how to look at financial markets this year, with the “gap” serving as the difference between expectations and reality, most particularly in terms of interest rate cuts.

In our market preview, we identified the Fed pivot as a primary driver of financial markets this year, most especially how expectations of cuts would line up with actual Fed policy. Going into the year, the market had priced in at least five cuts, which helped fuel a furious fourth quarter rally and investor optimism for 2024. One quarter in, however, those expectations have been turned on their head. Hotter than expected inflation and jobs reports in March have created a “higher for longer” narrative with the market expecting no more than two cuts during the second half of the year. Some economists have taken an even more bearish stance, suggesting there will not be any cuts. Overall, rates rose across the curve during the quarter as current U.S. debt levels sustained the long end of the curve while the short end was relatively unmoved.

Intuitively, many investors would expect such a big change in rate expectations to weigh heavily on markets, both equities and bonds. In that sense, equity performance was surprising during the first quarter, as the upward trend from 2023 continued. Predictably, bonds suffered as rates rose, but below investment grade sectors were profitable. To be fair, though, it should be noted that equities have endured a difficult start to this month, down 4.6% through April 22 as the higher for longer narrative has gained momentum.¹

Going forward, what should we watch for from asset classes as we venture into a market environment that looks much different than what we were expecting only three months ago?

Marquette Views on 2024 U.S. Equities Outlook Featured on FIN News

Published May 14, Catherine Hillier, Research Analyst, was interviewed for “Q1 2024: Small-Cap Equity Hiring Sees Uptick,” by FIN News (subscription required).

Catherine discussed the outlook for U.S. equity performance, particularly in the small-cap space in the article, which posits, “Publicly-traded large-cap companies continue to garner the attention of media and investors, but allocator interest is beginning to look down market to the small-cap sector.”

The article also referenced Catherine’s November 2023 newsletter, U.S. Equities: Surprising Strength Gives Way to Macro Risks, and commentary in Marquette’s 1Q 2024 Market Insights webinar, available to watch as a recording here.

2024 Market Preview Video

This video is a recording of a live webinar held January 25 by Marquette’s research team analyzing 2023 across the economy and various asset classes as well as what trends and themes we’ll be monitoring in the year ahead.

Our quarterly Market Insights series examines the primary asset classes we cover for clients including the U.S. economy, fixed income, U.S. and non-U.S. equities, hedge funds, real assets, and private markets, with commentary by our research analysts and directors.

Featuring:
Greg Leonberger, FSA, EA, MAAA, FCA, Director of Research, Managing Partner
Frank Valle, CFA, CAIA, Senior Research Analyst
Catherine Hillier, Research Analyst
David Hernandez, CFA, Director of Traditional Manager Search
Evan Frazier, CFA, CAIA, Senior Research Analyst
Griffin Gildea, Associate Research Analyst
Hayley McCollum, Research Analyst
Chad Sheaffer, CFA, CAIA, Senior Research Analyst

 

Sign up for research alerts to be invited to future webinars and notified when we publish new videos. If you have any questions, please send us an email.

Jack Sannes Speaking at CFNEIA Professional Advisor Education Series 7/16

On Tuesday, July 16, Jack Sannes, CFA, CAIA will be speaking at a Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa’s 2024 Professional Advisor Education Series event in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Jack will be presenting an overview of private equity and private credit investing for attendees. The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa serves as a resource for attorneys, financial planners, CPAs, and other professionals to simplify giving for clients, recommend strategies, and help advisors connect with the community. Their quarterly series of complimentary charitable continuing education events brings together professional advisors around topics that will help to enrich their communities. For more information, please visit the CFNEIA website.

Marquette Speaking at ALTSCHI 2024 Forum 7/22–23

On July 22–23, David H. Smith, CFAKweku Obed, CFA, CAIA, and Greg Leonberger, FSA, EA, MAAA, FCA will be speaking at ALTSCHI 2024, jointly produced by Markets Group, CFA Society Chicago, and the CAIA Association®.

Dave will be joining a panel on the 22nd entitled, “Opening Keynote Panel: Innovation Unleashed: The Rise of Total Portfolio Approach,” described as follows: As some of Strategic Asset Allocation’s shortcomings become clearer, select global asset owners have begun experimenting and transitioning to a more holistic approach to building portfolios. Total Portfolio Approach, while more a “state of mind,” than a tangible linear process, can offer improvements in culture, competition for capital, governance, and investment outcomes. How should investment professionals assess its fit for their organization and where should they begin?

Kweku will be moderating a panel shortly after entitled, “Keynote Panel: Private Market Investments – Time to Shine,” described as follows: As investors search for additional sources of revenue and methods for portfolio diversification in the volatile and changing environment, private markets stand out as an area of opportunity. The panel brings together leading alternatives investors and allocators to share the role private equity, private debt, venture capital, and more play in their portfolios and what they look for in managers to meet their objectives in these asset classes. Panelists will address risks and opportunities across capital structures, expected returns, and the operational requirements for managing the unique complexities in private markets.

On July 23, Greg will be moderating a panel entitled, “Infrastructure, Critical Materials, and Clean Energy Investments—What will the Path to Growth Look Like?” described as follows: What is the outlook for U.S. infrastructure, energy security, and critical minerals supply? What is the scope for public-private partnerships in the absence of a national development plan? There are still many questions about the measurement and due diligence surrounding ESG so how are fund managers and allocators capitalizing on the opportunities while minimizing the risks, and how can a more positive impact on the environment take shape?

ALTSCHI is developed and led by the CAIA Association and CFA Society Chicago and is specifically designed to provide relevant, education-focused content for individuals who manage, advise, allocate to, or oversee alternative investments. With leading allocating and management firms, the agenda will include topics such as global asset allocation, risk management, private markets, real assets, alternative beta strategies, private equity, hedge funds, ESG, crypto, and more. For more information, please visit the event webpage.

Great Expectations

After ending 2023 with a steep market rally, 2024 began on a more muted note, with Fed-pivot exuberance giving way to the details of execution. Of the many opportunities and risks facing markets this year, one of the most scrutinized will likely be how the Fed’s interest rate cuts compare to market expectations.

This newsletter analyzes current expectations for interest rate movements this year and potential scenarios that could influence the Fed’s policy decisions.

Defined Contribution Plan Legislative Update – 1Q 2024

This legislative update covers proposed regulation by the Department of Labor defining “investment fiduciary,” outlines SECURE Act 2.0’s optional provision regarding student loan repayments, analyzes an increasing trend of private real estate investments within defined contribution plans, summarizes new guidance from CFA Institute defining responsible investment terminology, and reviews 2024 contribution limits from the IRS.