The Agency Problems of Institutional Investors: Presentation Slides
25 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2020
Date Written: 2017
The presentation slides in this document provide an overview of our study The Agency Problems of Institutional Investors, which was published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives in its summer 2007 issue. The slides build on our presentations at the 2017 ALEA annual meeting.
Our study focuses on how the rise of institutional investors has transformed the governance landscape. The study analyzes the agency problems that the investment managers of institutional investors have vis-à-vis their own investors. We develop an analytical framework for examining these agency problems and apply it to study several key types of investment managers.
We analyze how the investment managers of mutual funds - both index funds and actively managed funds - have incentives to under-spend on stewardship and to side excessively with managers of corporations. We show that these incentives are especially acute for managers of index funds, and that the rise of such funds has system-wide adverse consequences for corporate governance. Activist hedge funds have substantially better incentives than managers of index funds or active mutual funds, but their activities do not provide a complete solution for the agency problems of institutional investors.
Our analysis provides a framework for future work on institutional investors and their agency problems, and generates insights on a wide range of policy questions. We discuss implications for disclosure by institutional investors; regulation of their fees; stewardship codes; the rise of index investing; proxy advisors; hedge funds; wolf pack activism; and the allocation of power between corporate managers and shareholders.
Our study is part of a larger project on the incentives of investment managers that also includes Index Funds and the Future of Corporate Governance: Theory, Evidence, and Policy and The Specter of the Giant Three.
Keywords: institutional investors, investment managers, mutual funds, index funds, hedge fund activism
JEL Classification: G23, G34, K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation