NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Family Descent as a Signal of Managerial Quality: Evidence from Mutual Funds

Oleg Chuprinin, Denis Sosyura

NBER Working Paper No. 22517
Issued in August 2016
NBER Program(s):LS

We study the relation between mutual fund managers’ family backgrounds and their professional performance. Using hand-collected data from individual Census records on the wealth and income of managers’ parents, we find that managers from poor families deliver higher alphas than managers from rich families. This result is robust to alternative measures of fund performance, such as benchmark-adjusted return and value extracted from capital markets. We argue that managers born poor face higher entry barriers into asset management, and only the most skilled succeed. Consistent with this view, managers born rich are more likely to be promoted, while those born poor are promoted only if they outperform. Overall, we establish the first link between family descent of investment professionals and their ability to create value.

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Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22517

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