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High Water Marks

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  • William N. Goetzmann
  • Jonathan Ingersoll, Jr.
  • Stephen A. Ross

Abstract

Incentive fees for money managers are frequently accompanied by high-water mark provisions that condition the payment of the performance fee upon exceeding the previously achieved maximum share value. In this paper, we show that hedge fund performance fees are valuable to money managers, and conversely, represent a claim on a significant proportion of investor wealth. The high-water mark provisions in these contracts limit the value of the performance fees. We provide a closed-form solution to the cost of the high-water mark contract under certain conditions. Our results provide a framework for valuation of a hedge fund management company.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6413.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6413.

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Date of creation: Feb 1998
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Publication status: published as William N. Goetzmann & Jonathan E. Ingersoll & Stephen A. Ross, 2003. "High-Water Marks and Hedge Fund Management Contracts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1685-1718, 08.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6413

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  1. Chevalier, Judith & Ellison, Glenn, 1997. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1167-1200, December.
  2. William N. Goetzmann & Nadav Peles, 1997. "Cognitive Dissonance And Mutual Fund Investors," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 20(2), pages 145-158, 06.
  3. Goetzmann, William N & Peles, Nadav, 1997. "Cognitive Dissonance and Mutual Fund Investors," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 20(2), pages 145-58, Summer.
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