The Equity Manager Search: Strategies and Techniques for Plan Sponsors

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In this book, David Davenport covers all aspects of the equity manager search from finding the right names through evaluating the performance of the equity manager after he or she has been hired. As Davenport notes at the outset, the choice of an investment manager for a corporate pension fund can have far-reaching implications for plan performance and is, therefore, one of the most important responsibilities of the pension manager. However, he notes, most pension plan sponsors feel compelled to retain an outside consultant to hire the fund's equity managers, feeling they do not possess the expertise necessary to conduct a thorough search. Arguing that pension managers would be better served by conducting the search themselves--not only will they save the fund thousands of dollars in fees but they will also have a much-improved vision of the investment management business--Davenport presents a clear and straightforward guide to the equity manager search from the plan sponsor's perspective. The book is organized chronologically by search stage and begins with thorough discussion of search criteria. In a section entitled Getting Started, Davenport shows how to find the right names and how to sort through, analyze, and verify candidates' performance claims. Subsequent chapters address preparing the investment questionnaire, the screening process, visiting the investment manager, and testing for consistent results. Davenport then demonstrates techniques for culling the list, selecting the finalists, narrowing the choice to one candidate, and presenting the candidate to the pension committee. The final chapter discusses performance expectations and measurement, management review, performance factors, and other issues related to the evaluation of the equity manager's performance. Numerous tables and figures illustrate points made in the text. Several appendixes include additional helpful information including a Report of the FAF Committee for Performance Presentation Standards and a performance analysis spreadsheet. Corporate and public pension fund managers will find this book an invaluable aid in their attempts to field the best team of managers for the funds over which they preside.