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Pricing three cases of performance fees using options methodology

Tom Messmore and Travis L. Jones

Managerial Finance, 2019, vol. 46, issue 1, 56-71

Abstract: Purpose - Prior research has demonstrated that investment management performance fees have the characteristic of a call option. It is important to examine whether these performance fees are consistent with traditional fee structures used by investment managers. It is also worth examining whether clients or managers benefit significantly more than the other party under performance fee structures. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach - The authors use Black-Scholes options pricing methodology to examine three cases of performance fee structures. The Absolute Hurdle case examines the fee structure where the manager receives a portion of the return over a pre-defined absolute rate of return. The Benchmark Relative Hurdle case shows a fee structure based on performance in excess of the return of a benchmark portfolio. The Breakeven Relative Hurdle case illustrates the fee structure where there is revenue neutrality with the classic management fees when portfolio performance matches the benchmark. Findings - The findings of this paper illustrate that a particular performance fee structure can be designed to have the same revenue as a traditional investment management fee structure. Such a structure is equally beneficial to both the investment manager and to the client and should have salutary motivational effects to improve investment results, while simultaneously rewarding the manager for value added at a fair price for both the manager and the investor. Originality/value - This study is unique in that it examines three cases of performance fees and provides a comparison between performance fee structures and traditional investment management fee structures. The findings will assist investment portfolio managers in better setting management fees they charge clients. In addition, this study help with clients who feel they are being charged excessive management fees by their investment manager.

Keywords: Options markets; Investments; Performance fees (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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