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2015 Commonfund Prize Winner announced

Winning paper: Tim Jenkinson, Howard Jones, (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford) and Jose Martinez (University of Connecticut School of Business) for Picking Winners? Investment Consultants’ Recommendations of Fund Managers

stock market chartsThe Commonfund Prize, awarded for original research relevant to endowment and foundation asset management, has been won in 2015 by researchers from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford and University of Connecticut School of Business. Their paper finds no evidence that recommendations by investment consultants to institutional investors subsequently outperformed the market.

The winning paper exploits survey data from investment consultants with a combined share of 90 per cent of the consulting market and focuses on the recommendations consultants made for actively managed US equity funds.

The Commonfund Prize is awarded annually by the Commonfund Institute in collaboration with the Newton Centre for Endowment Asset Management at Cambridge Judge Business School. The winning paper carries a $10,000 USD prize.

Endowment and foundation funds are most commonly seen in the charity, education and healthcare sectors. Although regular withdrawals from the invested capital are needed to meet on-going operational costs, such funds are typically characterised by a perpetual time horizon. First awarded in 1996, the Commonfund Prize aims to recognise original research and to set the standard for research excellence and innovation in this area of asset management.

Dr David Chambers, one of three judges in the competition, said:

We were extremely pleased with the large number and the high standard of paper submissions for the prize. From a shortlist of papers, the panel unanimously selected the winning paper on the grounds of its relevance to endowments, high standard of scholarship, and significant impact.

The judging panel comprised Chambers, the Academic Director of the Newton Centre for Endowment Asset Management and Reader at Cambridge Judge Business School; Elroy Dimson, the Centre’s Chairman and Professor of Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School; and William Goetzmann, Professor of Finance and Director of the International Center for Finance at the Yale School of Management.

Two further papers were chosen by the judging panel as runners-up in the category of Highly Commended:

  • Laura Starks (University of Texas at Austin) and Richard Sias and Luke DeVault (University of Arizona) for Who are the Sentiment Traders? Evidence from the Cross-Section of Stock Returns and Demand
  • Neal Stoughton, Georg Cejnek, and Richard Franz (Vienna University of Economics and Business) for An Integrated Model of University Endowments