The Career Paths of Mutual Fund Managers: The Role of Merit

Document Type



Published by the CFA Institute in Financial Analysts Journal, volume 70 issue 4, 2014. Bryant users may access this article here.


This study provides evidence that merit—specifically, performance relative to peers measured on a style-adjusted basis—plays a significant role in the length of a mutual fund manager’s career. Managers who underperform their peers are more likely to lose their jobs. However, surviving managers of any tenure—even those who manage their funds for 10 or more years—generally do not outperform the market or their style benchmarks and do not display consistently superior performance.