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The determinants of the flow of funds of managed portfolios: mutual funds versus pension funds

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  • Diane Del Guercio
  • Paula A. Tkac

Abstract

Due to differences in financial sophistication and agency relationships, we posit that investors use different criteria to select portfolio managers in the retail mutual fund and fiduciary pension fund industry segments. We provide evidence on investors’ manager selection criteria by estimating the relation between manager asset flow and performance. We find that pension fund clients use quantitatively sophisticated measures like Jensen’s alpha, tracking error, and outperformance of a market benchmark. Pension clients also punish poorly performing managers by withdrawing assets under management. In contrast, mutual fund investors use raw return performance and flock disproportionately to recent winners but do not withdraw assets from recent losers. Mutual fund manager flow is significantly positively related to Jensen’s alpha, a seemingly anomalous result in light of a relatively unsophisticated mutual fund client base. We provide preliminary evidence, however, that this relation is driven by a high correlation between Jensen’s alpha and widely available summary performance measures, such as Morningstar’s star rating. By documenting differences in the flow-performance relation, we contribute to the growing literature linking fund manager behavior to the implicit incentives to increase assets under management. We show that several forces combine to weaken the incentive for pension fund managers to engage in the type of risk-shifting behavior identified in the mutual fund literature.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2000-21.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2000-21

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Keywords: Mutual funds ; Pensions ; Investments;

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  1. Jon A. Christopherson & Wayne E. Ferson & Debra A. Glassman, 1996. "Conditioning Manager Alphas on Economic Information: Another Look at the Persistence of Performance," NBER Working Papers 5830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan D, 1989. "Mutual Fund Performance: An Analysis of Quarterly Portfolio Holdings," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(3), pages 393-416, July.
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  9. Daniel Bergstresser & James Poterba, 2000. "Do After-Tax Returns Affect Mutual Fund Inflows?," NBER Working Papers 7595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Chen, Hsiu-lang & Pennacchi, George G., 2009. "Does Prior Performance Affect a Mutual Fund’s Choice of Risk? Theory and Further Empirical Evidence," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(04), pages 745-775, August.
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