Directors' Ownership in the U.S. Mutual Fund Industry


  • QI CHEN,



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    • Qi Chen is from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University; Itay Goldstein is from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and Wei Jiang is from the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University. We thank Michael Bradley, Susan Christoffersen, Deborah DeMott, Franklin Edwards, Simon Gervais, Ron Gilson, Cam Harvey, Laurie Hodrick, Ron Kaniel, Jennifer Ma, David Robinson, Dragon Tang, Peter Tufano, May Wu, Paul Yakoboski, the associate editor, an anonymous referee, seminar participants at Columbia and Duke, and conference participants at the 2006 Financial Intermediation Research Society Meeting and the 2006 WFA meeting for helpful comments. We thank David Robinson for his assistance in the early stage of the project, Xiaozheng Wang for excellent research assistance, and several students at Columbia, Duke, and Wharton (especially Catlin Prendergast, Bailey Jones, and Nicholas Luby) for their excellent assistance in collecting the data. The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University (for Qi Chen), from the Rodney White Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (for Itay Goldstein), and from the Program for Economic Research at Columbia University and the Chazen Institute of Columbia Business School (for Wei Jiang). Qi Chen and Wei Jiang also acknowledge the financial support from TIAA-CREF Institute.


This paper empirically investigates directors' ownership in the mutual fund industry. Our results show that, contrary to anecdotal evidence, a significant portion of directors hold shares in the funds they oversee. Ownership patterns are broadly consistent with an optimal contracting equilibrium. That is, ownership is positively and significantly correlated with most variables that are predicted to indicate greater value from directors' monitoring. For example, directors' ownership is more prevalent in actively managed funds and in funds with lower institutional ownership. We also show considerable heterogeneity in ownership across fund families, suggesting family-wide policies play an important role.