Asset Liquidity and Mutual Fund Management Fees: Evidence from Closed-End Mutual Funds

Charles P. Cullinan, Bryant University
Xiaochuan Zheng, Bryant University

Document Type Article

Published in Accounting and Finance Research, volume 1 issue 2, p. 140-147, October 2012. Article can be read here.


In this study, we assess whether the liquidity of a closed-end mutual fund’s investments (measured based on the fund’s fair value disclosures) is related to the management fee charged by the fund’s investment advisor. We posit that there will be incremental effort on the part of the advisor to identify and analyze less liquid investments, and that fund investors would be willing to pay for these incremental costs to access less-liquid segments of the market. Consistent with this expectation, we find a significantly positive relationship between the percentage of level 3 assets (the least liquid securities) and management fees. However, we do not find a significant relationship between level 2 securities (which are more liquid than level 3, but less liquid than level 1) and management fees. Overall, our results suggest that investments in the least liquid securities result in higher management fees.