NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'AAAmmf' rating to the Federated Prime Private Liquidity Fund, a separately designated series of Federated Private Liquidity Funds, a Delaware statutory trust, managed by Federated Investment Counseling (Federated). The fund commenced operations on September 22 and Fitch's analysis was conducted based on the fund's expected portfolio composition and Federated's experience in managing funds with similar strategies
KEY RATING DRIVERS
The 'AAAmmf' rating assignment reflects:
--The fund's expected overall credit quality and diversification;
--Expected low exposure to interest rate and spread risks;
--Expected holdings of daily and weekly liquid assets consistent with shareholder profile and concentration;
--The capabilities and resources of Federated.
The Fund is intended to serve as a cash management vehicle for qualified eligible investors. The trust and the fund are exempt from registration as an investment company pursuant to Section 3(c)(7) of the Investment Act of 1940, as amended.
The fund will not reserve the right to impose a liquidity fee or to suspend redemptions temporarily in accordance with Rule 2a-7(c)(2). The fund seeks to maintain a stable net asset value (NAV) of $1.00 per share by valuing its assets at their amortized cost.
PORTFOLIO CREDIT QUALITY/DIVERSIFICATION
The fund seeks to maintain a diversified, high credit quality portfolio consistent with Fitch's criteria for 'AAAmmf' rated money market funds (MMFs), by investing in highly rated securities with limited exposure to individual issuers.
The fund seeks to limit interest rate and spread risk by maintaining a weighted average maturity (WAM) below 60 days and a weighted average life (WAL) below 120 days.
The fund seeks to maintain sufficient levels of daily and weekly liquidity to meet investors' flows. At a minimum, the fund seeks to maintain 10% of its portfolio in daily liquid assets and 30% in weekly liquid assets.
While the fund will not be subject to the liquidity fees and redemption gates provisions of Rule 2a7, the fund has the right to delay redemptions under certain circumstances, including if the fund is liquidating or to protect shareholder interests, as outlined in the fund's private placement memorandum.
The fund seeks to provide current income in line with prevailing money market rates, while aiming to preserve capital consistent with these rates and to maintain a high degree of liquidity.
The fund's investment adviser is Federated Investment Counseling, a subsidiary of Federated Investors, Inc. As of Sept. 30, 2015, Federated Investors, Inc had approximately $351 billion in total assets under management. Fitch views Federated Investors, Inc's investment advisory capabilities, financial and resource commitments, operational controls, corporate governance and compliance procedures as consistent with the 'AAAmmf' rating assigned to the funds.
The fund does not have an independent board of directors that provides oversight. However, the fund has an advisory board of Federated employees that performs certain functions of a Rule 2a7 registered MMF's board of directors, including receiving periodic reporting on the fund's operations and reviewing conflicts of interest. Federated, as a registered investment advisor and trustee of the fund, has a fiduciary responsibility to act in the fund's best interests.
The rating may be sensitive to material changes in the credit quality, market risk, and/or liquidity profiles of the fund. Temporary deviations from metrics outlined in Fitch's criteria need not automatically result in a rating change, provided the fund manager is able to address them with credible near-term remedial actions. However, material adverse and continued deviations from Fitch's guidelines for any key rating driver may lead to the rating being placed on Rating Watch Negative or downgraded.
Fitch will receive fund holdings information and other pertinent fund data from the fund's administrator - Federated Administrative Services - to conduct surveillance against ratings guidelines and to maintain the MMF rating.
Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com
Global Money Market Fund Rating Criteria (pub. 10 Dec 2015)
Dodd-Frank Rating Information Disclosure Form