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|Title: ||Fee Speech: Signalling and the Regulation of Mutual Fund Fees|
|Authors: ||Das, Sanjiv Ranjan|
Sundaram, Rangarajan K.
|Issue Date: ||4-Apr-1999 |
|Series/Report no.: ||FIN-99-085|
|Abstract: ||The Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (as amended in 1970) prohibits
mutual funds in the US from offering their advisers asymmetric
"incentive fee" contracts in which the advises are rewarded
for superior performance via-a-vis a chosen index but are not
correspondingly penalized for underforming it. The rationale offered in
defense of the regulation by both the SEC and Congress is that incentive
fee structures of this sort encourage "excessive" risk-taking
by advisers. Apart from affecting portfolio selection incentives,
however, the fee structure also influences equilibrium welfare levels in
two other important ways: (a) through its risk-sharing properties, and
(b) through its potential at conveying information about the adviser's
abilities. This paper examines a signalling model with multiple funds
and multiple risky securities in which all of these effects are present.
We find the incentives fees do, as alleged, lead to more (and
suboptimal) risk-taking than do symmetric "fulcrum fees."
Nonetheless, taking into account the other roles of the fee structure,
we find under robust conditions that investors may actually be strictly
better off from a welfare standpoint under asymmetric incentives fee
structures. In summary, we do not find much justification for the regulation.|
|Appears in Collections:||Finance Working Papers|
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