Only about 6% of the portfolio managers of exchange-traded funds at the industry’s two largest providers, State Street Global Advisors and Barclays Global Investors, have their own money invested in their funds, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing SEC-mandated data in statements of additional information in fund prospectuses.
On the other hand, 43% of traditional mutual funds have made investments in their funds, a study of 1,400 funds as of the end of 2004 by the Georgia Institute of Technology, the London Business School and the University of South Florida shows.
Dan Culloton, a Morningstar analyst who recently wrote a report called “Do ETF Managers Eat Their Own Cooking?”, believes it matters. “Simply put, the interests of managers who are compensated based on how well they run their funds, and who have significant sums of their own money invested in their portfolios, are more aligned with their shareholders,” he wrote.
Whether or not the manager of an exchange-traded fund invests in their own fund “is something we’re going to want to look at,” said Michael Woods, chief executive officer of XTF Advisors, an investment advisory firm that puts together separately managed accounts consistently entirely of ETFs.