Because managers of mutual funds and corporate executives who attended the same university frequently run in the same social circles or maintain their friendships well past graduation, the corporate executives tend to share information with the portfolio managers, a new study found. As a result, the managers tend to invest in those companies, which tend to deliver strong performance because of the quality of the information being shared.

The study, called “The Small World of Investing: Board Connections and Mutual Fund Returns,” is by Lauren Cohen of the Yale School of Management, Andrea Frazzini of the University of Chicago and Christopher Malloy of the London Business School.

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