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Manager-Investor Conflicts in Mutual Funds

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  • Paul G. Mahoney

Abstract

Half of all of U.S. households own shares in one or more mutual funds, either directly or through personal or employer-sponsored retirement accounts. This article describes the structure and regulation of mutual funds and the resulting incentives facing those who make decisions for the funds. After providing some basic institutional details, it focuses on the cash flows from mutual fund investors to fund managers, brokers, and other third parties and the associated conflicts of interest. The article concludes with a summary of recent legal proceedings against mutual fund managers and brokers based on improper trading practices and regulatory proposals to curb those practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul G. Mahoney, 2004. "Manager-Investor Conflicts in Mutual Funds," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 161-182, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:18:y:2004:i:2:p:161-182
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0895330041371231
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0895330041371231
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph Golec, 2003. "Regulation And The Rise In Asset-Based Mutual Fund Management Fees," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 26(1), pages 19-30.
    2. Eric Zitzewitz, 2003. "Who Cares About Shareholders? Arbitrage-Proofing Mutual Funds," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 245-280, October.
    3. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
    4. Daniel, Kent, et al, 1997. " Measuring Mutual Fund Performance with Characteristic-Based Benchmarks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1035-1058, July.
    5. Sanjiv Ranjan Das & Rangarajan K. Sundaram, 1998. "On the Regulation of Fee Structures in Mutual Funds," NBER Working Papers 6639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Sanjiv Ranjan Das & Rangarajan K. Sundaram, 1998. "The Regulation of Fee Structures in Mutual Funds: A Theoretical Analysis," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 98-085, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
    7. Ajay Khorana & Henri Servaes, 2011. "What Drives Market Share in the Mutual Fund Industry?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 81-113.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Abigail S. Hornstein & James Hounsell, 2013. "Managerial Investment in Mutual Funds," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2013-005, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
    2. Mehran, Hamid & Stulz, Rene M., 2007. "The economics of conflicts of interest in financial institutions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 267-296, August.
    3. Ferris, Stephen P. & Yan, Xuemin (Sterling), 2009. "Agency costs, governance, and organizational forms: Evidence from the mutual fund industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 619-626, April.
    4. Françoise LE QUERE, 2008. "Gestion déléguée des encours par les investisseurs institutionnels : description et évolution des pratiques," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 682, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
    5. Gil-Bazo, Javier & Ruiz-Verdú, Pablo, 2008. "When cheaper is better: Fee determination in the market for equity mutual funds," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 871-885, September.
    6. Davis, Gerald F. & Kim, E. Han, 2007. "Business ties and proxy voting by mutual funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 552-570, August.
    7. Marcin Kacperczyk & Clemens Sialm & Lu Zheng, 2008. "Unobserved Actions of Mutual Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(6), pages 2379-2416, November.
    8. Harold Mulherin, J., 2007. "Measuring the costs and benefits of regulation: Conceptual issues in securities markets," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 421-437, June.
    9. Assaf Hamdani & Eugene Kandel & Yevgeny Mugerman & Yishay Yafeh, 2016. "Incentive Fees and Competition in Pension Funds: Evidence from a Regulatory Experiment," NBER Working Papers 22634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Eric Zitzewitz, 2006. "How Widespread Was Late Trading in Mutual Funds?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 284-289, May.
    11. Cremers, Martijn & Driessen, Joost & Maenhout, Pascal & Weinbaum, David, 2009. "Does Skin in the Game Matter? Director Incentives and Governance in the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(06), pages 1345-1373, December.
    12. Barajas, Adolfo & Catalán, Mario, 2015. "Market discipline and conflicts of interest between banks and pension funds," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 411-440.
    13. Mola, Simona & Guidolin, Massimo, 2009. "Affiliated mutual funds and analyst optimism," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 108-137, July.
    14. Françoise LE QUERE, 2008. "L'habillage de portefeuille par les gérants de fonds dans la littérature : incitations, effets et risques," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 870, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
    15. Horan, Stephen M. & Johnsen, D. Bruce, 2008. "Can third-party payments benefit the principal?: The case of soft dollar brokerage," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 56-77, March.
    16. repec:eee:finana:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:63-75 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Stefan W. Schmitz, 2005. "Die Governance-Struktur der Pensionskassen in Österreich und ihre politökonomischen Konsequenzen," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 31(3), pages 407-443.
    18. Hornstein, Abigail S. & Hounsell, James, 2016. "Managerial investment in mutual funds: Determinants and performance implications," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 18-34.
    19. Joanne K. Yoong & Angela Hung, 2009. "Self-Dealing and Compensation for Financial Advisors," Working Papers 713, RAND Corporation.
    20. Jeremy Burke & Angela Hung & Jack Clift & Steven Garber & Joanne K. Yoong, 2015. "Impacts of Conflicts of Interest in the Financial Services Industry," Working Papers WR-1076, RAND Corporation.
    21. Martin Gold, 2010. "Fiduciary Finance," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13813.
    22. Sophie Xiaofei Kong & Dragon Yongjun Tang, 2008. "Unitary Boards And Mutual Fund Governance," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 31(3), pages 193-224.
    23. Ruiz-Verdú, Pablo & Gil-Bazo, Javier, 2006. "Yet another puzzle? the relation between price and performance in the mutual fund industry," DEE - Working Papers. Business Economics. WB wb066519, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía de la Empresa.
    24. Hamdani, Assaf & Kandel, Eugene & Mugerman, Yevgeny & Yafeh, Yishay, 2015. "Incentive Fees and Competition in Pension Funds: Evidence from a Regulatory Experiment in Israel," CEPR Discussion Papers 10911, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    25. Françoise Le Quéré, 2010. "L’habillage de portefeuille par les gérants de fonds dans la littérature : incitations, effets et risques," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 97(2), pages 275-293.

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