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Offsetting the Incentives: Risk Shifting and Benefits of Benchmarking in Money Management

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  • Basak, Suleyman
  • Pavlova, Anna
  • Shapiro, Alex

Abstract

Money managers are rewarded for increasing the value of assets under management, and predominantly so in the mutual fund industry. This gives the manager an implicit incentive to exploit the well-documented positive fund-flows to relative-performance relationship by manipulating her risk exposure. In a dynamic portfolio choice framework, we show that as the year-end approaches, the ensuing convexities in the manager's objective induce her to closely mimic the index, relative to which her performance is evaluated, when the fund's year-to-date return is sufficiently high. As her relative performance falls behind, she chooses to deviate from the index by either increasing or decreasing the volatility of her portfolio. The maximum deviation is achieved at a critical level of underperformance. It may be optimal for the manager to reach such deviation via selling the risky asset despite its positive risk premium. Under multiple sources of risk, with both systematic and idiosyncratic risks present, we show that optimal managerial risk shifting may not necessarily involve taking on any idiosyncratic risk. Costs of misaligned incentives to investors resulting from the manager's policy are economically significant. We then demonstrate how a simple risk management practice that accounts for benchmarking can ameliorate the adverse effects of managerial incentives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5006.

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Date of creation: Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5006

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Keywords: benchmarking; fund flows; implicit incentives; portfolio choice; risk management; risk taking;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gehrig, Thomas P. & Lütje, Torben & Menkhoff, Lukas, 2008. "Bonus Payments and Fund Managers' Behavior: Trans-Atlantic Evidence," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-411, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  2. Basak, Suleyman & Shapiro, Alex & Teplá, Lucie, 2005. "Risk Management with Benchmarking," CEPR Discussion Papers 5187, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jens Carsten Jackwerth & James Hodder, 2005. "Incentive Contracts and Hedge Fund Management," Working Papers wp05-10, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  4. Castaneda, Pablo, 2005. "Portfolio Choice and Benchmarking: The Case of the Unemployment Insurance Fund in Chile," MPRA Paper 3346, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Dec 2006.
  5. Vikash Ramiah & Imad Moosa & Ben O'Neill & Milica Backulja & Amel Jacoub & Terry Hallahan & John Vaz, 2012. "Tournament behaviour in Malaysian managed funds," International Journal of Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 8(4), pages 381-399.
  6. Jules H. van Binsbergen & Michael W. Brandt & Ralph S.J. Koijen, 2006. "Optimal Decentralized Investment Management," NBER Working Papers 12144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Basak, Suleyman & Pavlova, Anna & Shapiro, Alex, 2006. "Optimal Asset Allocation and Risk Shifting in Money Management," CEPR Discussion Papers 5524, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Dimitri Vayanos, 2004. "Flight to Quality, Flight to Liquidity, and the Pricing of Risk," NBER Working Papers 10327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Livio Stracca, 2006. "Delegated Portfolio Management: A Survey Of The Theoretical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(5), pages 823-848, December.
  10. Ming Fang & Rui Zhong, 2004. "Default Risk, Firm's Characteristics, and Risk Shifting," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2461, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Mar 2005.
  11. Jens Carsten Jackwerth & James E. Hodder, 2003. "Incentive Contracts and Hedge Fund Management: A Numerical Evaluation Procedure," CoFE Discussion Paper 03-10, Center of Finance and Econometrics, University of Konstanz.
  12. Pavlova, Anna & Rigobon, Roberto, 2005. "Wealth Transfers, Contagion and Portfolio Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 5117, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Lewellen, Katharina, 2004. "Financing Decisions When Managers Are Risk Averse," Working papers 4438-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.

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