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High-Water Marks and Hedge Fund Management Contracts

  • William N. Goetzmann


    (Yale University, School of Management)

  • Jonathan E. Ingersoll Jr.


    (School of Management)

  • Stephen A. Ross


    (Sloan School of Management)

Incentive or performance fees for money managers are frequently accompanied by high-water mark provisions which condition the payment of the performance fee upon exceeding the maximum achieved share value. In this paper, we show that hedge fund performance fees are valuable to money managers, and conversely represent a claim on a significant proportion of investor wealth. The high-water mark provisions in these contracts limit the value of the performance fees. We provide a closed-form solution to the high-water mark

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Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm186.

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Date of creation: 07 Jun 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm186
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  1. Goetzmann, William N & Peles, Nadav, 1997. "Cognitive Dissonance and Mutual Fund Investors," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 20(2), pages 145-58, Summer.
  2. 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.
  3. Jennifer N. Carpenter, 2000. "Does Option Compensation Increase Managerial Risk Appetite?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 2311-2331, October.
  4. Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr, 2000. "Digital Contracts: Simple Tools for Pricing Complex Derivatives," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(1), pages 67-88, January.
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