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Regular version of the site

Article

Look for people, not for alpha: mutual funds success and managers intellectual capital

Measuring Business Excellence. 2015. Vol. 4. No. 19. P. 57-71.

Purpose. This paper explores whether individual intellectual capital of a fund manager allows mutual fund to outperform market.

Design/methodology/approach The sample includes 85 Russian equity funds for the period of 2013. Firstly Jensen’s alpha for each fund has been calculated and then cross-sectional regression analysis has been used. While only a part of fund managers publish biographic sketches the authors use Heckman procedure to control for self-selection issues. 

Findings. The results support the idea that the individual characteristics indicate the possibility to earn abnormal alpha. Managers with economic education and with Moscow education perform better than others. Relationship between both fund performance measures and manager’s experience has inverted U-shape. Jensen’s alpha reaches its highest level at the point of 9 years, whereas beta – at 10 years of manager’s experience.

Research limitations/implications. Investigation can be improved by including more variables that influence the disclosure of managers’ personal information, for example, by conducting surveys. Additionally, cross-sectional data restrict the analysis.

Practical implications. The discovered characteristics of managers' intellectual capital can be used as additional screening tool for the investor who is deciding on mutual fund choice in Russia. While individual intellectual capital is observable and more persistent in time in comparison with the past fund performance such tool allows better decision-making.

Originality/value. This is the first paper that explores which characteristics of Russian fund managers are connected with higher abnormal return (measured by Jensen’s alpha) and risk (beta) of mutual funds.