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Fees on Fees in Funds of Funds

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  • Stephen J. Brown
  • William N. Goetzmann
  • Bing Liang

Abstract

Funds of funds are an increasingly popular avenue for hedge fund investment. Despite the increasing interest in hedge funds as an alternative asset class, the high degree of fund specific risk and the lack of transparency may give fiduciaries pause. In addition, many of the most attractive hedge funds are closed to new investment. Funds of funds resolve these issues by providing investors with diversification across manaager styles and professional oversight of fund operations that can provide the necessary degree of due diligence. In addition, many such funds hold shares in hedge funds otherwise closed to new investment allowing smaller investors access to the most sought-after managers. However, the diversification, oversight and access comes at the cost of a multiplication of fees paid by the investor. One would expect that the information advantage of funds of funds would more than compensate investors for these fees. Unfortunately, individual hedge funds dominate fund of funds on an after-fee return or Sharpe ratio basis. In this paper we argue that the disappointing after-fee performance of some fund of funds may be explained by the nature of this fee arrangement. Fund of funds providers pass on individual hedge fund incentive fees in the form of after-fee returns, although they are in a better position to hedge these fees than are their investors. We examine a new fee arrangement emerging in the industry that may provide better incentives at a lower cost to investors in these funds.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9464.

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Date of creation: Feb 2003
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Publication status: published as Brown, S. J., W. N. Goetzmann, and B. Liang. “Fees on Fees in Funds of Funds.” Journal of Investment Management 2 (2004): 39-56.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9464

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  1. William N. Goetzmann & Jonathan E. Ingersoll, Jr. & Stephen A. Ross, 2004. "High Water Marks," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm22, Yale School of Management.
  2. Fung, William & Hsieh, David A, 1997. "Empirical Characteristics of Dynamic Trading Strategies: The Case of Hedge Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(2), pages 275-302.
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  5. Brown, Stephen J & Goetzmann, William N & Ibbotson, Roger G, 1999. "Offshore Hedge Funds: Survival and Performance, 1989-95," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(1), pages 91-117, January.
  6. Jennifer N. Carpenter, 2000. "Does Option Compensation Increase Managerial Risk Appetite?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 2311-2331, October.
  7. Fung, William & Hsieh, David A., 2000. "Performance Characteristics of Hedge Funds and Commodity Funds: Natural vs. Spurious Biases," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(03), pages 291-307, September.
  8. Edwin J. Elton & Martin J. Gruber & Christopher R. Blake, 2003. "Incentive Fees and Mutual Funds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(2), pages 779-804, 04.
  9. Fung, William & Hsieh, David A, 2001. "The Risk in Hedge Fund Strategies: Theory and Evidence from Trend Followers," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(2), pages 313-41.
  10. Brown, Stephen J, et al, 1992. "Survivorship Bias in Performance Studies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(4), pages 553-80.
  11. Jennifer Carpenter, 1999. "Does Option Compensation Increase Managerial Risk Appetite?," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 99-076, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
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Cited by:
  1. Getmansky, Mila & Lo, Andrew W. & Makarov, Igor, 2004. "An econometric model of serial correlation and illiquidity in hedge fund returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 529-609, December.
  2. Agarwal, Vikas & Nada, Vikram & Ray, Sugata, 2013. "Institutional investment and intermediation in the hedge fund industry," CFR Working Papers 13-03, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  3. Clemens Sialm & Zheng Sun & Lu Zheng, 2013. "Home Bias and Local Contagion: Evidence from Funds of Hedge Funds," NBER Working Papers 19570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Serge Darolles & Patrick Gagliardini & Christian Gouriéroux, 2012. "Survival of Hedge Funds : Frailty vs Contagion," Working Papers 2012-36, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. Shawky, Hany A. & Dai, Na & Cumming, Douglas, 2012. "Diversification in the hedge fund industry," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 166-178.
  6. Agarwal, Vikas & Kale, Jayant R., 2007. "On the relative performance of multi-strategy and funds of hedge funds," CFR Working Papers 07-11, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  7. Geetesh Bhardwaj & Gary Gorton & K. Rouwenhorst, 2008. "Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: The Inefficient Performance and Persistence of Commodity Trading Advisors," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2429, Yale School of Management.
  8. Bertin, William J. & Prather, Laurie, 2009. "Management structure and the performance of funds of mutual funds," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 1364-1369, December.
  9. Daniel P. J. Capocci, 2009. "The persistence in hedge fund performance: extended analysis," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 233-255.
  10. Agarwal, Vikas & Boyson, Nicole M. & Naik, Narayan Y., 2007. "Hedge funds for retail investors? An examination of hedged mutual funds," CFR Working Papers 07-04, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  11. Heidorn, Thomas & Kaiser, Dieter G. & Roder, Christoph, 2009. "Empirische Analyse der Drawdowns von Dach-Hedgefonds," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 109, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  12. Nicholas Chan & Mila Getmansky & Shane M. Haas & Andrew W. Lo, 2007. "Systemic Risk and Hedge Funds," NBER Chapters, in: The Risks of Financial Institutions, pages 235-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Yang CAO & Joseph P. OGDEN & Cristian I. TIU, 2012. "Who Benefits From Funds Of Hedge Funds? A Critique Of Alternative Organizational Structures In The Hedge Fund Industry (Ii)," Business Excellence and Management, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 2(1), pages 5-20, March.
  14. Ding, Bill & Shawky, Hany A. & Tian, Jianbo, 2009. "Liquidity shocks, size and the relative performance of hedge fund strategies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 883-891, May.

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