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Optimal Decentralized Investment Management

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  • Jules H. van Binsbergen
  • Michael W. Brandt
  • Ralph S.J. Koijen

Abstract

We study a decentralized investment problem in which a CIO employs multiple asset managers to implement and execute investment strategies in separate asset classes. The CIO allocates capital to the managers who, in turn, allocate these funds to the assets in their asset class. This two-step investment process causes several misalignments of objectives between the CIO and his managers and can lead to large utility costs on the part of the CIO. We focus on i) loss of diversification ii) different appetites for risk, iii) different investment horizons, and iv) the presence of liabilities. We derive an optimal unconditional linear performance benchmark and show that this benchmark can be used to better align incentives within the firm. The optimal benchmark substantially mitigates the utility costs of decentralized investment management. These costs can be further reduced when the CIO can screen asset managers on the basis of their risk appetites. Each manager%u2019s optimal level of risk aversion depends on the asset class he manages and can differ substantially from the CIO%u2019s level of risk aversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Jules H. van Binsbergen & Michael W. Brandt & Ralph S.J. Koijen, 2006. "Optimal Decentralized Investment Management," NBER Working Papers 12144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12144
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    1. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:21-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Axel Stahmer, 2015. "Fund flows inducing mispricing of risk in competitive financial markets," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-15-04, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
    3. Suleyman Basak & Dmitry Makarov, 2014. "Strategic Asset Allocation in Money Management," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(1), pages 179-217, February.
    4. de Groot, Wilma & Pang, Juan & Swinkels, Laurens, 2012. "The cross-section of stock returns in frontier emerging markets," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 796-818.
    5. repec:eee:jetheo:v:173:y:2018:i:c:p:289-319 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:jfinec:v:128:y:2018:i:1:p:183-206 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Joyce, Michael & Liu, Zhuoshi & Tonks, Ian, 2014. "Institutional investor portfolio allocation, quantitative easing and the global financial crisis," Bank of England working papers 510, Bank of England.
    8. Sheng, Jiliang & Wang, Jian & Wang, Xiaoting & Yang, Jun, 2014. "Asymmetric contracts, cash flows and risk taking of mutual funds," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 435-442.
    9. Arijit Mukherjee & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Optimal job design in the presence of implicit contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(1), pages 44-69, March.
    10. Andonov, Aleksandar & Eichholtz, Piet & Kok, Nils, 2015. "Intermediated investment management in private markets: Evidence from pension fund investments in real estate," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 73-103.
    11. Castañeda, Pablo & Devoto, Benjamín, 2016. "On the structural estimation of an optimal portfolio rule," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 290-300.
    12. Rossi, Alberto G. & Blake, David & Timmermann, Allan & Tonks, Ian & Wermers, Russ, 2015. "Network centrality and pension fund performance," CFR Working Papers 15-16, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    13. Lejeune, Miguel A. & Shen, Siqian, 2016. "Multi-objective probabilistically constrained programs with variable risk: Models for multi-portfolio financial optimization," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 252(2), pages 522-539.
    14. He, Zhiguo & Xiong, Wei, 2013. "Delegated asset management, investment mandates, and capital immobility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 239-258.
    15. repec:pal:assmgt:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1057_s41260-017-0057-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Alexander, Gordon J. & Baptista, Alexandre M., 2010. "Active portfolio management with benchmarking: A frontier based on alpha," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 2185-2197, September.
    17. 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).
    18. Alexander, Gordon J. & Baptista, Alexandre M., 2011. "Portfolio selection with mental accounts and delegation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 2637-2656, October.
    19. Jules H. van Binsbergen & Michael W. Brandt, 2007. "Optimal Asset Allocation in Asset Liability Management," NBER Working Papers 12970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Lim, Andrew E.B. & Wong, Bernard, 2010. "A benchmarking approach to optimal asset allocation for insurers and pension funds," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 317-327, April.
    21. repec:eee:jbfina:v:89:y:2018:i:c:p:105-124 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Dahlquist, Magnus & Odegaard, Bernt Arne, 2018. "A Review of Norges Bank's Active Management of the Government Pension Fund Global," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2018/1, University of Stavanger.
    23. Dass, Nishant & Nanda, Vikram & Wang, Qinghai, 2013. "Allocation of decision rights and the investment strategy of mutual funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 254-277.
    24. Ralph S. J. Koijen & Juan Carlos Rodríguez & Alessandro Sbuelz, 2009. "Momentum and Mean Reversion in Strategic Asset Allocation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(7), pages 1199-1213, July.
    25. He, Zhiguo & Xiong, Wei, 2013. "Delegated asset management, investment mandates, and capital immobility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 239-258.

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    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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