Internal vs. External Management for State and Local Pension Plans

SLP#75

The brief’s key findings are:

  • As state and local pension plans have increased their investments in alternative assets, they have taken on more external asset managers.
  • However, due to concerns about fees, some large plans have started to reevaluate the size of their external team.
  • This study explores how the number of managers affects fees and after-fee returns, controlling for plan size, asset allocation, and extent of external management.
  • The results suggest that a significant reduction in the number of managers could reduce fees somewhat, but, in terms of after-fee returns, it matters who gets cut.