JPMorgan Asset Revives Government-Focused Money Market Fund

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset management arm has created a new European money market fund focused on public debt, a kind of investment that largely disappeared when interest rates were negative.

The fund, which opened this week with €500 million ($544 million) in assets, will buy only government or sovereign-backed securities. Clients have asked for this because they can now get good yields from safe public sector assets without needing bank bonds, which are typically used in the region’s money-market funds, said Jim Fuell, who heads liquidity sales across Europe and Asia for J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

The strategy is relatively rare. There are only 11 euro money-market funds with a government focus out of the 120 tracked by research provider Crane Data. Fuell said there’s also demand from investors who are nervous about bank debt in the wake of the high-profile collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse last year.

“There’s an element of clients who want to take risk off the table,” said Fuell in an interview. “That aversion to bank risk is something I think continues to resonate again with the likes of SVB and Credit Suisse featuring in 2023.”