Fee Speech: Adverse Selection and the Regulation of Mutual Funds

32 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2000 Last revised: 10 Oct 2010

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 1998

Abstract

The Investment Advisors Act of 1940 (as amended in 1970) prohibits mutual funds in the US from offering their advisers asymmetric incentive fee' contracts in which the advisers are rewarded for superior performance via-a-vis a chosen index but are not correspondingly penalized for underperforming 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. This paper uses an adverse selection model with multiple funds and multiple risky securities to study this issue. We find that incentive funds do, as alleged, lead to more (and suboptimal) risk-taking than do symmetric fulcrum fees.' Nevertheless, from the more important welfare angle, we find that investors may be strictly better off under asymmetric incentive fee structures. Thus, there appears to be little justification for this legislation.

Suggested Citation

Das, Sanjiv Ranjan and Sundaram, Rangarajan K., Fee Speech: Adverse Selection and the Regulation of Mutual Funds (July 1998). NBER Working Paper No. w6644. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226350

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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