Management changes have no effect on fund performance,
according to research by Morningstar. The firm says the outflow
typically associated with management change is an investor flaw
rather than a reflection of the fund’s management style and underlining
Morningstar points out that management changes rarely
result in changes to the fundamentals of the fund and how it is actually run.
The firm embarked on its latest research in following the “catastrophic
outflows” associated with “highly publicized management changes—most notably,
Bill Gross of PIMCO or Greg Serrurier of Dodge & Cox.”
Morningstar urges investors to ask themselves a series of
questions following major management changes. These include asking whether the
fund is truly an outlier in the sense where the fund is truly run by an
individual whose strategies and insight can’t be replicated. Morningstar finds
this is rarely the case and notes that today more than ever before, fund
management is essentially a team-oriented science.
In addition, investors should ask themselves about the tax
implications of the fund and determine whether selling would leave them responsible
for an unnecessary tax bill. The fund’s expenses also need to be put under a
microscope. If they increase as a result of management change, Morningstar
suggests pulling out of the fund may be justified.
In most cases, however, management change leads to business
as usual. Morningstar finds “there is zero relationship between a
management change and future returns over the next month up to the next three
years. Furthermore, this holds true for all different types of management changes.
Gross excess performance does not depend on the fund’s alpha, size, or industry
experience at the time of management change.”
Moreover, management change isn’t necessarily a major shift
as some investors may surmise.
The firm notes that “Since January 2003, in the U.S.