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Incentive Contracts and Hedge Fund Management

Listed author(s):
  • Jens Carsten Jackwerth

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz)

  • James E. Hodder

    ()

    (Finance Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

This paper investigates dynamically optimal risk-taking by an expected-utility maximizing manager of a hedge fund. We examine the effects of variations on a compensation structure that includes a percentage management fee, a performance incentive for exceeding a specified highwater mark, and managerial ownership of fund shares. In our basic model, there is an exogenous liquidation barrier where the fund is shut down due to poor performance. We also consider extensions where the manager can voluntarily choose to shut down the fund as well as to enhance the fund’s Sharpe Ratio through additional effort. We find managerial risk-taking which differs considerably from the optimal risk-taking for a fund investor with the same utility function. In some portions of the state space, the manager takes extreme risks. In another area, she pursues a lock-in style strategy. Indeed, the manager’s optimal behavior even results in a trimodal return distribution. We find that seemingly minor changes in the compensation structure can have major implications for risk-taking. Additionally, we are able to compare results from our more general model with those from several recent papers that turn out to be focused on differing parts of the larger picture.

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File URL: http://cofe.uni-konstanz.de/Papers/dp05_02.pdf
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Paper provided by Center of Finance and Econometrics, University of Konstanz in its series CoFE Discussion Paper with number 05-02.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 23 May 2005
Handle: RePEc:knz:cofedp:0502
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  1. Chevalier, J. & Ellison, G., 1996. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Working papers 96-3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Lucian Arye Bebchuk & Jesse M. Fried, 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 71-92, Summer.
  3. Alex Shapiro & Suleyman Basak & Anna Pavlova, 2004. "Offsetting the Incentives: Risk Shifting and Benefits of Benchmarking in Money Management," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 583, Econometric Society.
  4. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-470, May.
  5. William N. Goetzmann & Jonathan Ingersoll, Jr. & Stephen A. Ross, 1998. "High Water Marks," NBER Working Papers 6413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stavros Panageas & Mark M. Westerfield, 2009. "High-Water Marks: High Risk Appetites? Convex Compensation, Long Horizons, and Portfolio Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 1-36, 02.
  7. 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-.
  8. William Goetzmann & Jonathan Ingersoll & Stephen Ross, 1998. "High-Water Marks and Hedge Fund Management Contracts," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm81, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Aug 2001.
  9. Jennifer N. Carpenter, 2000. "Does Option Compensation Increase Managerial Risk Appetite?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 2311-2331, October.
  10. Basak, Suleyman & Pavlova, Anna & Shapiro, Alex, 2006. "Optimal Asset Allocation and Risk Shifting in Money Management," CEPR Discussion Papers 5524, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. Stephen A. Ross, 2004. "Compensation, Incentives, and the Duality of Risk Aversion and Riskiness," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(1), pages 207-225, 02.
  13. Fung, William & Hsieh, David A., 1999. "A primer on hedge funds," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 309-331, September.
  14. Stephen J. Brown, 2001. "Careers and Survival: Competition and Risk in the Hedge Fund and CTA Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1869-1886, October.
  15. Suleyman Basak & Alex Shapiro & Lucie Teplá, 2006. "Risk Management with Benchmarking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(4), pages 542-557, April.
  16. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-257, August.
  17. Bebchuk, Lucian A. & Fried, Jesse M., 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt81q3136r, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
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