On-Site PhD conferral Matteo Bonetti
Supervisors: Prof. dr. R.M.M. Bauer, Prof. Dr. D.W.G.A. Broeders
Key words: pension fund, network effect, herding, institutional investors’ governance
"Alernative Factors Driving Pension Fund Investments"
The governance of a pension fund is quite complex because of the large number of stakeholders that are involved. A board of trustees makes key investment decisions on behalf of a heterogeneous group of plan’s beneficiaries. External advisors and asset management firms are hired to assists trustees. This dissertation studied how this complexity affects the asset allocation of pension funds. It specifically shows that trustees characteristics such as age, gender and representation affect their investment decisions. In theory, trustees should only consider beneficiaries characteristics when investing pension funds’ money. Moreover, the research shows that external advisors can transfer their investment beliefs to the pension funds that they work for. These beliefs can overrule pension fund characteristics. Consequently, pension funds with the same advisor invest similarly. Furthermore, the study shows that pension fund asset managers tend to buy and sell the same stocks that other asset managers have bought and sold. This behaviour negatively impacts their performance.