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Trust and Delegation

  • Stephen Brown
  • William Goetzmann
  • Bing Liang
  • Christopher Schwarz

Due to imperfect transparency and costly auditing, trust is an essential component of financial intermediation. In this paper we study a sample of 444 due diligence (DD) reports from a major hedge fund DD firm. A routine feature of due diligence is an assessment of integrity. We find that misrepresentation about past legal and regulatory problems is frequent (21%), as is incorrect or unverifiable representations about other topics (28%). Misrepresentation, the failure to use a major auditing firm, and the use of internal pricing are significantly related to legal and regulatory problems, indices of operational risk. We find that DD reports are typically performed after positive performance and investor inflows. We control for potential bias due to this and other potential conditioning. An operational risk score based on information contained in the DD reports significantly predicts subsequent fund failure and statistical performance characteristics out of sample. Finally we find that observed operational risk characteristics do not appear to moderate fund flow.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15529.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Publication status: published as Brown, Stephen & Goetzmann, William & Liang, Bing & Schwarz, Christopher, 2012. "Trust and delegation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 221-234.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15529
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  1. Gavin Cassar & Joseph Gerakos, 2011. "Hedge Funds: Pricing Controls and the Smoothing of Self-reported Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(5), pages 1698-1734.
  2. 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.
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  7. Stephen Brown & William Goetzmann & Bing Liang & Christopher Schwarz, 2006. "Mandatory Disclosure and Operational Risk: Evidence from Hedge Fund Registration," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2472, Yale School of Management, revised 11 Sep 2009.
  8. Vikas Agarwal & Naveen D. Daniel & Narayan Y. Naik, 2011. "Do Hedge Funds Manage Their Reported Returns?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(10), pages 3281-3320.
  9. 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.
  10. Getmansky, Mila & Lo, Andrew & Makarov, Igor, 2003. "An Econometric Model of Serial Correlation and Illiquidity In Hedge Fund Returns," Working papers 4288-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  11. Stephen Brown & William Goetzmann & Bing Liang & Christopher Schwarz, 2008. "Estimating Operational Risk for Hedge Funds: The ?-Score," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2559, Yale School of Management, revised 11 Sep 2009.
  12. Edward I. Altman, 1968. "Financial Ratios, Discriminant Analysis And The Prediction Of Corporate Bankruptcy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(4), pages 589-609, 09.
  13. K.J. Martijn Cremers & Vinay B. Nair, 2003. "Governance Mechanisms and Equity Prices," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm376, Yale School of Management.
  14. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "Career Concerns Of Mutual Fund Managers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 389-432, May.
  15. K. J. Martijn Cremers & Vinay B. Nair, 2005. "Governance Mechanisms and Equity Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2859-2894, December.
  16. Agarwal, Vikas & Naik, Narayan Y., 2000. "Multi-Period Performance Persistence Analysis of Hedge Funds," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(03), pages 327-342, September.
  17. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Liang, Bing, 2000. "Hedge Funds: The Living and the Dead," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(03), pages 309-326, September.
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