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Is a team different from the sum of its parts? Evidence from mutual fund managers

  • Bär, Michaela
  • Kempf, Alexander
  • Ruenzi, Stefan

This paper provides the first empirical test of the diversification of opinions theory and the group shift theory using real business data. Our data set covers management teams and single managers of US equity mutual funds. Our results reject the group shift theory and support the diversification of opinions theory: extreme opinions of single team managers average out and, consequently, teams make less extreme decisions than individuals do. We find that teams follow less extreme investment styles and their portfolios are less industry concentrated than those of single managers and that teams are eventually less likely to achieve extreme performance outcomes. These results hold after taking into account the impact of fund and family characteristics as well as manager characteristics. Additionally, teams exhibit a lower active share and lower risk levels, driven by a lower level of idiosyncratic risk, as compared to singlemanaged funds.

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Paper provided by University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR) in its series CFR Working Papers with number 05-10.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfrwps:0510
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  1. Joseph Chen & Harrison Hong & Ming Huang & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 2004. "Does Fund Size Erode Mutual Fund Performance? The Role of Liquidity and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1276-1302, December.
  2. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "Are Some Mutual Fund Managers Better Than Others? Cross-Sectional Patterns in Behavior and Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 875-899, 06.
  3. Rockenbach, Bettina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & Mathauschek, Barbara, 2007. "Teams take the better risks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 412-422, July.
  4. Michael P. Murray, 2006. "Avoiding Invalid Instruments and Coping with Weak Instruments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 111-132, Fall.
  5. Marcin Kacperczyk & Clemens Sialm & Lu Zheng, 2005. "On the Industry Concentration of Actively Managed Equity Mutual Funds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1983-2011, 08.
  6. Kempf, Alexander & Ruenzi, Stefan & Thiele, Tanja, 2009. "Employment risk, compensation incentives, and managerial risk taking: Evidence from the mutual fund industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 92-108, April.
  7. Prather, Larry J. & Middleton, Karen L., 2006. "Timing and selectivity of mutual fund managers: An empirical test of the behavioral decision-making theory," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 249-273, June.
  8. Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1988. "Committees, Hierarchies and Polyarchies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 451-70, June.
  9. Jegadeesh, Narasimhan & Titman, Sheridan, 1993. " Returns to Buying Winners and Selling Losers: Implications for Stock Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 65-91, March.
  10. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
  11. Kempf, Alexander & Ruenzi, Stefan, 2004. "Tournaments in mutual fund families," CFR Working Papers 04-02, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  12. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
  13. Raaj Kumar Sah & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1984. "The Architecture of Economic Systems: Hierarchies and Polyarchies," NBER Working Papers 1334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-36, May-June.
  15. Edwin J. Elton, 2001. "A First Look at the Accuracy of the CRSP Mutual Fund Database and a Comparison of the CRSP and Morningstar Mutual Fund Databases," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2415-2430, December.
  16. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
  17. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean & Lu Zheng, 2005. "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Effects of Expenses on Mutual Fund Flows," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(6), pages 2095-2120, November.
  18. Massa, Massimo & Reuter, Jonathan & Zitzewitz, Eric, 2010. "When should firms share credit with employees? Evidence from anonymously managed mutual funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 400-424, March.
  19. Brown, Keith C & Harlow, W V & Starks, Laura T, 1996. " Of Tournaments and Temptations: An Analysis of Managerial Incentives in the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 85-110, March.
  20. Sah, Raaj K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1991. "The Quality of Managers in Centralized versus Decentralized Organizations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 289-95, February.
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