2017 Jack Treynor Prize Winners

The Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance (The Q Group) is pleased to announce the 2017 winners of its annual Jack Treynor Prizes. The Prize recognizes superior academic working papers with potential applications in the fields of investment management and financial markets.
Read the full press release here.

The three 2017 winners
(in alphabetical order by paper title) are:


Performance Isn’t Everything: Personal Characteristics and Career Outcomes of Mutual Fund Managers

Brad Barber, University of California, Davis
Anna Scherbina, University of California, Davis
Bernd Schlusche, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Past performance—measured by returns and fund flows—largely determine mutual fund managers’ career outcomes.  Managers’ personal attributes also matter.  All else equal, female fund managers are less likely to be promoted than male managers, and they have shorter tenures.  Furthermore, managers from elite schools and those holding advanced degrees have better career outcomes, while older managers face significantly worse career prospects, possibly by choice. Read full paper.

Sensation-Seeking Hedge Funds

Stephen Brown, NYU Stern School of Business and Monash Business School
Yan Lu, College of Business, University of Central Florida
Sugata Ray, Culverhouse College of Commerce, University of Alabama
Melvyn Teo, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University

The authors collect data on hedge fund manager automobile purchases and show that managers who own powerful sports cars take on more investment risk than do other managers but do not deliver higher returns.  Moreover, funds managed by performance car owners exhibit higher operational risk and are more likely to fail.  Performance car owners demonstrate other attributes associated with sensation seeking, such as a preference for lottery-like stocks, unconventional strategies, and active trading. Read full paper.

Trading on Talent: Human Capital and Firm Performance

Anastassia Fedyk, Harvard University
James Hodson, Jožef Stefan Institute

Using  Firms with low employee turnover perform better in the market than firms with higher turnover. Also, firms with disproportionately more employees with sales-oriented skills perform better than others, whereas firms with more employees with administrative skills underperform. The effects of skill are heterogeneous across industries.  Web development skills are more valuable in information industries, but sales-oriented skills are not notably more valuable in Finance. Read full paper.