Actual rate of the management fee in mutual funds of different styles




actual rate of the management fee, before-fee fund return, mutual fund operating model, mutual fund styles


Research background: Exponential growth of passive mutual funds after 2007?2008 global financial crisis put pressure on active fund managers to lower the management fees. The real costs of active fund management are, however, very often higher than the values of management fees reported publicly. Thus it is not easy to decide on the quality of the fund management and estimate the level of management charges optimal for the future fund performance.

Purpose of the article:  In this study, we propose to utilize an actual rate of the management fee (ARMF) disclosed in the management company financial statements as a measure of the real value of the management costs and investigate its determinants in mutual funds of different styles.

Methods: Using a dataset of 21,618 monthly observations for 500 mutual funds from a market of diversified structure and high management fees charged we test the operating model of a mutual fund performance, and derive the formula of a before-fee return with the ARMF as its component. The fund performance is measured by a raw before-fee return and two types of risk-adjusted alphas based on the multifactor model of Carhart (1997) and the fund attributes. Later, using panel data we explain ARMF by mutual fund performance and attributes. We also compare the results to the ones obtained for the total operational cost (TOC) ? a value similar to ARMF that is disclosed in mutual fund financial reports.

Findings & value added: We find that the proposed ARMF is related more to the size and not to the performance, age or a cash flow of mutual funds. We observe it among all studied fund styles. The largest deviations of the average ARMF are seen in the management companies that belong to the banks? capital groups. The proposed measure of the management fee included in the operating model of a mutual fund performance can be used for any local mutual fund worldwide, and compared with other fund markets of more or less diversified style structures.


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Author Biography

Katarzyna Perez , Poznan University of Economics and Business

Investment and Financial Markets Department, Institute of Finance

Head of Department, Associate Prof.


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How to Cite

Perez , K., & Szymczyk, Łukasz. (2022). Actual rate of the management fee in mutual funds of different styles. Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, 17(4), 969–1014.