Are fund managers rewarded for taking cyclical risks?

Rapport door de Europese Centrale Bank

The euro area investment fund sector has tripled in size since the crisis of 2008-2009.

As the sector grows, so do the implications of its risk-taking for the wider financial system and real economy. In particular, high risk appetite by funds during periods of market exuberance can (excessively) push down risk premia in markets. This trend can then reverse sharply when a crisis hits and as the fund sector is faced by rising investor redemptions. The fund sector’s procyclicality can be amplified further where pre-crisis risk-taking has left funds with insufficient liquidity to meet redemptions. These dynamics were recently observed during the crisis period which followed the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

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