Predation versus Cooperation in Mutual Fund Families
36 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2012 Last revised: 14 Jan 2020
Date Written: May 28, 2014
In this paper, we investigate how mutual funds react to the distress of another fund in the same fund family. We test three alternative hypotheses: (1) funds help the distressed fund, (2) funds front-run the distressed fund improving their relative performance in the fund family and, (3) the family coordinates and benefits from frontrunning the distressed fund. Our results suggest that fund managers front-run their distressed siblings and that this is the outcome of a coordinated strategy. First, we find that funds in the same family exhibit higher risk-adjusted returns when one of the funds in the family is in distress. Second, distressed funds have lower returns for a given outflow when they have a high portfolio overlap with their siblings. Third, consistent with a coordinated strategy on the family level we find that the higher risk-adjusted returns are clustered among the most important funds of the family.
Keywords: mutual fund families, front-running, distress, fire sales
JEL Classification: G11, G14, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation