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Fees on Fees in Funds of Funds

Author

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  • Stephen J. Brown
  • William N. Goetzmann
  • Bing Liang

Abstract

Funds of funds are an increasingly popular avenue for hedge fund investment. Despite the increasing interest in hedge funds as an alternative asset class, the high degree of fund specific risk and the lack of transparency may give fiduciaries pause. In addition, many of the most attractive hedge funds are closed to new investment. Funds of funds resolve these issues by providing investors with diversification across manaager styles and professional oversight of fund operations that can provide the necessary degree of due diligence. In addition, many such funds hold shares in hedge funds otherwise closed to new investment allowing smaller investors access to the most sought-after managers. However, the diversification, oversight and access comes at the cost of a multiplication of fees paid by the investor. One would expect that the information advantage of funds of funds would more than compensate investors for these fees. Unfortunately, individual hedge funds dominate fund of funds on an after-fee return or Sharpe ratio basis. In this paper we argue that the disappointing after-fee performance of some fund of funds may be explained by the nature of this fee arrangement. Fund of funds providers pass on individual hedge fund incentive fees in the form of after-fee returns, although they are in a better position to hedge these fees than are their investors. We examine a new fee arrangement emerging in the industry that may provide better incentives at a lower cost to investors in these funds.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen J. Brown & William N. Goetzmann & Bing Liang, 2003. "Fees on Fees in Funds of Funds," NBER Working Papers 9464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9464
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brown, Stephen J & Goetzmann, William N & Ibbotson, Roger G, 1999. "Offshore Hedge Funds: Survival and Performance, 1989-95," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(1), pages 91-117, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shawky, Hany A. & Dai, Na & Cumming, Douglas, 2012. "Diversification in the hedge fund industry," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 166-178.
    2. Daniel P. J. Capocci, 2009. "The persistence in hedge fund performance: extended analysis," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 233-255.
    3. Ding, Bill & Shawky, Hany A. & Tian, Jianbo, 2009. "Liquidity shocks, size and the relative performance of hedge fund strategies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 883-891, May.
    4. Nicholas Chan & Mila Getmansky & Shane M. Haas & Andrew W. Lo, 2007. "Systemic Risk and Hedge Funds," NBER Chapters,in: The Risks of Financial Institutions, pages 235-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Agarwal, Vikas & Kale, Jayant R., 2007. "On the relative performance of multi-strategy and funds of hedge funds," CFR Working Papers 07-11, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    6. repec:pal:assmgt:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1057_s41260-017-0061-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    8. Geetesh Bhardwaj & Gary Gorton & K. Rouwenhorst, 2008. "Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: The Inefficient Performance and Persistence of Commodity Trading Advisors," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2429, Yale School of Management.
    9. Getmansky, Mila & Lo, Andrew W. & Makarov, Igor, 2004. "An econometric model of serial correlation and illiquidity in hedge fund returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 529-609, December.
    10. Serge Darolles & Patrick Gagliardini & Christian Gouriéroux, 2012. "Survival of Hedge Funds : Frailty vs Contagion," Working Papers 2012-36, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    11. Agarwal, Vikas & Boyson, Nicole M. & Naik, Narayan Y., 2007. "Hedge funds for retail investors? An examination of hedged mutual funds," CFR Working Papers 07-04, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    12. Clemens Sialm & Zheng Sun & Lu Zheng, 2013. "Home Bias and Local Contagion: Evidence from Funds of Hedge Funds," NBER Working Papers 19570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. repec:eee:jfinec:v:129:y:2018:i:2:p:287-305 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. 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).
    15. Robert S. Harris & Tim Jenkinson & Steven N. Kaplan & Ruediger Stucke, 2017. "Financial Intermediation in Private Equity: How Well Do Funds of Funds Perform?," NBER Working Papers 23428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Zhe Chen & F. Douglas Foster & David R. Gallagher & Adrian D. Lee & Steven Cahan, 2015. "A model of emulation funds," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 55(3), pages 717-748, September.
    17. Marko Rikato & Ales Berk, 2015. "Costliness of Placement Agents," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 48(3), pages 263-287, December.
    18. Agarwal, Vikas & Lu, Yan & Ray, Sugata, 2014. "Under one roof: A study of simultaneously managed hedge funds and funds of hedge funds," CFR Working Papers 14-13, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    19. Heidorn, Thomas & Kaiser, Dieter G. & Roder, Christoph, 2009. "Empirische Analyse der Drawdowns von Dach-Hedgefonds," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 109, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    20. Mila Getmansky & Peter A. Lee & Andrew W. Lo, 2015. "Hedge Funds: A Dynamic Industry In Transition," NBER Working Papers 21449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Yang CAO & Joseph P. OGDEN & Cristian I. TIU, 2012. "Who Benefits From Funds Of Hedge Funds? A Critique Of Alternative Organizational Structures In The Hedge Fund Industry (Ii)," Business Excellence and Management, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 2(1), pages 5-20, March.
    22. Agarwal, Vikas & Aragon, George O. & Shi, Zhen, 2015. "Funding liquidity risk of funds of hedge funds: Evidence from their holdings," CFR Working Papers 15-12, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    23. Bertin, William J. & Prather, Laurie, 2009. "Management structure and the performance of funds of mutual funds," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 1364-1369, December.

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