Gervais, Simon, and Günter Strobl, 2020, “Transparency and Talent Allocation in Money Management,” Review of Financial Studies 33, 3889–3924.
We construct and analyze the equilibrium of a model of delegated portfolio management in which money managers signal their investment skills via fund transparency. To lower the costs of transparency, high-skill managers rely on their performance to separate from low-skill managers over time. In contrast, medium-skill managers rely on transparency to separate, especially when it is difficult for investors to tell them apart through performance alone. Low-skill managers mimic high-skill managers in opaque funds, hoping to replicate their performance and compensation. The model yields several novel empirical predictions that contrast transparent and opaque funds.