Russell Wermers

‘Sharks’ Losing Ground to ‘Prey’ in Markets

Since the global financial crisis, “active” fund managers — stock pickers looking to beat the market — have lost ground to their “passive“ counterparts, as investors shun stock pickers amid concerns over bad performance and high fees. Smith School finance professor Russell Wermers compares the situation to the shark-prey relationship. "We need both in the water to make the world go round properly," he says. Read more...

Global Market Volatility: What's Going On?

The Smith School hosted a forum Tuesday on global market volatility, aimed at making sense of the recent tumult in international markets — notably in China, but also spilling over into other regions, including the United States. Finance faculty participants Russ Wermers, Haluk Unal, Albert "Pete" Kyle, Bill Longbrake, Phillip L. Swagel and Steve Heston. share their insights. Read more...

'Say on Pay' Curbs Excessive Compensation—in Some Cases

Say on Pay, which gives shareholders a nonbinding vote on executive compensation, leads companies to reduce excessive pay in certain circumstances. That's according to new research by Smith professor Russ Wermers and a coauthor. Previous academic studies of Say on Pay have found mixed results, with some concluding that the provision—part of the Dodd-Frank legislation and in effect since 2011—has had no effect. But Wermers says: "Say on Pay does empower small institutional shareholders." Read more...

Picking a Mutual Fund Manager? Look for Low Fees

Finding a stock picker who can beat the market can be daunting, as many mutual funds that outperform over a short period struggle to repeat the feat in the long run. Russ Wermers, professor of finance and director of the Center for Financial Policy at the Smith School, tells the Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Investor that figuring out which manager got lucky and which manager has skill is tough. “It’s incredibly difficult to judge the quality of a fund ahead of time,” Wermers said. Read the full article, How to Pick a Stock Picker.

Not Just for Journalists: Cashing in on FOIA Requests

In the last quarter of 2011, the hedge fund SAC Capital filed a Freedom of Information request asking for documents regarding inspections of plants operated by Charles River Laboratories, which conducts pharmaceutical research. SAC apparently didn’t get bad news, because it increased its shares in Charles River from about 70,000 to 240,000 during that same calendar quarter. The stock rose, and SAC sold most of it in the next quarter. Read more...

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