Commonalities in investment strategy and the determinants of performance in mutual fund mergers
This paper examines the determinants of cross-sectional variation in post-merger mutual fund performance. Mergers between funds with similar management objectives, as reflected by average portfolio book-to-market ratio, price–earnings ratio, beta and market capitalization values, outperform mergers between funds with dissimilar strategies. This superior performance transcends lower portfolio rebalancing costs which might be realized between merging funds which hold more assets in common. These results suggest that mutual fund mergers create collaborative benefits between funds with similar strategies. We also examine if fund governance structures influence the fund pairing process, testing if stronger fund oversight mitigates pairing mismatches. We find that less independent boards of trustees and boards with higher compensation are related to greater strategic mismatches between funds. These results suggest that more entrenched boards are more tolerant of fund mismatches which benefit the investment company, yet are not in investor’s best interests.
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