“The Effect of NAV Flotation on the Management of Prime Money Fund Portfolios” by Prof. David Musto
Prof. David Musto
Ronald O. Perelman Professor in Finance
University of Pennsylvania
In 2016, institutional prime funds floated their Net Asset Values (NAVs), whereas retail funds retained stable NAVs. We use this contrast to test whether flotation affects portfolio management: it does not. There was an effect around the change, with duration, illiquidity, credit risk, yields and NAVs all lower among institutional funds, but this passed. Prime funds adjusted to the concurrent asset shrinkage largely through shrinking transactions, but also through shrinking the number of both issuers and transactions per issuer. The quality of funds’ transactions improves with the sizes of their complexes, not the sizes of the transactions themselves.