This content is from: Corner Office

VIDEO: Why Do Institutional Investors Underperform?

In the first of a five part video series, Senior Writer Julie Segal talks to a number of investment professionals about the reasons that institutional investors underperform their benchmarks.

The results are in and they are persistent. Institutional investors – from mutual funds to endowments to pension plans – are below average when it comes to doing their job.

Yes, there are a few standouts, but the exception is not good enough when the stakes are so high. Universities, hospitals, foundations and a generation of baby boomers, among others, are more dependent than ever on the fruits of investing. The 100 largest public pension funds in the U.S. alone, have only 68 cents of every dollar they need to fulfill their promises to employees, according to Seattle, Washington-based actuarial firm Milliman. Corporate plans have a little more on hand, a whopping 77 cents for every dollar.

So who is at fault here? Money managers? Hedge funds? Consultants? Investment committees? According to a recent paper by Charlie Ellis, the founder of research firm Greenwich Associates, almost everybody in the investment world is culpable.

However, Ellis says very few even recognize their unintended role in what he calls the crime of underperformance and nothing will change until they do. In this video series, we’ve asked a number of investment professionals to give their thoughts on this problem, on what might be to blame and on possible solutions.

Related Content