Does It All Add Up? Benchmarks and the Compensation of Active Portfolio Managers

Does It All Add Up? Benchmarks and the Compensation of Active Portfolio Managers

1996Working Paper No. 1395

This paper we examine theoretically the use of benchmark portfolios in the compensation of privately informed portfolio managers. We find that the use of a benchmark, and particularly the types of benchmarks often used benchmark-adjusted compensation schemes are generally inconsistent with optimal risk-sharing and do not lead to the choice of an optimal portfolio for the investor. Moreover, benchmarks do not help in solving potential contracting problems such as inducing the manager of expend effort or trying to screen out uninformed managers.