An Analysis of the Relative Performance of Japanese and Foreign Money Management
38 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2008
Date Written: September 2002
Foreign investment management firms have recently started to play a major role in the investment trust business in Japan. In terms of assets under management, their size and market share have almost doubled in the past several years. In part, the relative success of foreign managed firms in attracting market share may be attributed to the fact that Japanese investment trusts have underperformed benchmarks in quite a dramatic fashion over the past two decades. This is at best indirect evidence that Japanese funds underperform their foreign counterparts. In a recent paper (Brown, Goetzmann, Hiraki, Otsuki and Shiraishi 2001) we show that the underperformance can be attributed almost entirely to the unique tax environment of Japanese investment trusts, which had the effect of heavily penalizing early withdrawals. The relaxation of these regulations coincided with a major inflow of new money into the investment trust business. We examine the relative performance of Japanese and foreign investment management firms before and after this change in tax regulations, and find that the poor relative performance of Japanese funds from April 2000 through December 2001 may in part be attributed to the huge inflow of new money into this sector and the style shifts made necessary to accommodate this flow.
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