Fee Speech: Signaling, Risk-Sharing, and the Impact of Fee Structure on Investor Welfare

42 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2008 Last revised: 17 Nov 2015

See all articles by Sanjiv Ranjan Das

Sanjiv Ranjan Das

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business

Rangarajan K. Sundaram

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Date Written: October 1, 2001

Abstract

The fee structure used to compensate investment advisers is central to the study of fund design, and affects investor welfare in at least three ways: (i) by influencing the portfolio-selection incentives of the adviser, (ii) by affecting risk-sharing between adviser and investor, and (iii) through its use as a signal of quality by superior investment advisers. In this paper, we describe a model in which all of these features are present, and use it to compare two popular and contrasting forms of fee contracts, the "fulcrum" and the "incentive" types, from the standpoint of investor welfare. While the former has some undeniably attractive features (that have, in particular, been used by regulators to justify its mandatory use in a mutual fund context), we find surprisingly that it is the latter that is often more attractive from the standpoint of investor welfare. Our model is a flexible one; our conclusions are shown to be robust to many extensions of interest. The results are also extended to consider unrestricted fee structures and competitive markets for fund managers.

Suggested Citation

Das, Sanjiv Ranjan and Sundaram, Rangarajan K., Fee Speech: Signaling, Risk-Sharing, and the Impact of Fee Structure on Investor Welfare (October 1, 2001). NYU Working Paper No. FIN-01-033. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1294576

Sanjiv Ranjan Das (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business ( email )

Department of Finance
316M Lucas Hall
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States

HOME PAGE: http://algo.scu.edu/~sanjivdas/

Rangarajan K. Sundaram

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance ( email )

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
212-998-0308 (Phone)
212-995-4233 (Fax)

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