Does a Manager's Track Record Matter?

While it may be logical to assume that a more experienced fund manager would have a better performance record, it isn’t necessarily so. This according to a recent study from the Cass Business School in London, the results of which are reported in Chief Investment Officer this month.

Andrew Clare, a professor of asset management at Cass, says that while the study’s analysis of 357 U.S. equity fund managers’ performance reflected a nearly 50 basis point higher return per year (after fees) from those with at least 10 years of experience (based on Morningstar data), he warns that, “Of course there is an element of survivorship bias here. Presumably, managers with a good track record are more likely to stay in their role than those with a poor one.”

However, Clare also points out study results showing that just over 60% of the experienced managers outperformed their benchmarks and that performance seemed to decline over the study period. Further, he notes, the results were not terribly consistent from year to year.

Over all, study results were inconclusive. Clare says, “It is possible that as these managers matured further their appetite for risk declined.”