Mutual Funds Fees Around the World

45 Pages Posted: 8 May 2006

See all articles by Ajay Khorana

Ajay Khorana

Georgia Institute of Technology - Finance Area

Henri Servaes

London Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Peter Tufano

Harvard Business School; University of Oxford, Said Business School

Date Written: July 23, 2007


Using a new database, we study fees charged by 46,580 mutual fund classes offered for sale in 18 countries, which account for about 86% of the world fund industry in 2002. We examine management fees, total expense ratios, and total shareholder costs (which include load charges). Fees vary substantially across funds and from country to country. To explain these differences, we consider fund, sponsor, and national characteristics. Fees differ by investment objectives; larger funds and fund complexes charge lower fees; fees are higher for funds distributed in more countries and funds domiciled in certain offshore locations (especially when selling into countries levying higher taxes). Substantial cross-country differences persist even after controlling for these variables. These remaining differences can be explained by a variety of factors, the most robust of which is that fund fees are lower in countries with stronger investor protection.

Suggested Citation

Khorana, Ajay and Servaes, Henri and Tufano, Peter, Mutual Funds Fees Around the World (July 23, 2007). HBS Finance Working Paper No. 901023, Available at SSRN: or

Ajay Khorana (Contact Author)

Georgia Institute of Technology - Finance Area ( email )

800 West Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States
404-894-5110 (Phone)
404-894-6030 (Fax)

Henri Servaes

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom
+44 20 7000 8268 (Phone)
+44 20 7000 8201 (Fax)


Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

Peter Tufano

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan Hall 131
Boston, MA 02163
United States

University of Oxford, Said Business School

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

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