Portfolio manager ownership and mutual fund risk taking - Evidence from Finland

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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Rahoituksen laitos
Department of Finance
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Abstract PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: This study examines the effects of portfolio manager ownership on the risk taking behavior of mutual funds domiciled in Finland by using a unique hand collected dataset of 300 funds from 17 fund companies in Finland. Moreover, the study sheds light on how the managerial ownership in Finnish mutual funds has evolved over the years by providing a descriptive analysis on the managerial ownership levels in Finnish mutual fund companies. DATA AND METHODOLOGY: The data consists of two main parts. First, mutual fund related data is collected from monthly mutual fund reports provided by Investment Research Finland. Secondly, portfolio manager ownership data is hand-collected from the insider registers of each mutual fund company separately. The final sample consists of 300 mutual funds from 17 mutual fund companies domiciled in Finland from May 2013 to April 2014. In addition to the descriptive analysis the methodology includes a number of multivariate regressions which follow the methodology of Ma and Tang (2012). RESULTS: The results suggest that in Finland funds managed by portfolio managers with higher beneficial ownership exhibit lower risk when using return-based risk measures. The results indicate that funds with positive managerial ownership engage in lower risk taking in terms of subsequent return volatility, and are thus in line with the findings of previous literature. These findings suggest that managerial ownership helps in aligning the interests of fund shareholders and portfolio managers. Furthermore, when analyzing the levels of managerial ownership in Finnish mutual funds I find that 39.3% of fund managers in Finland have a stake in the fund they manage as of April 30th 2013. In other words, the average portfolio manager does not invest in the fund he manages. However, the average managerial ownership has increased from previous studies and amounts to €59,662.38. The median investment among those who have invested their personal wealth in the fund is €4,960.95, indicating that the distribution of managerial ownership across Finnish fund managers is to a large extent skewed.
mutual funds, fund risk, managerial incentives, managerial ownership, principal-agent problem
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