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Archives for: January 2003

It's O.K. to Reach for Unreachable Star Managers
Research by professor Richard Green challenges accepted logic when it comes to mutual fund managers. Green and colleague Jonathan Berk from the University of California at Berkeley have been studying the performance of mutual fund managers and fund flows over time. Their research suggests that the market for portfolio managers, like the stock market itself, is very efficient. The professors’ theory shows that with small portfolios, some skilled managers can outperform the market, so “apparently pointless searches for mutual fun managers who can beat the market” may actually not be pointless – or at least not irrational. However, as additional investors want to profit from a specific manager’s talent, the portfolio becomes large and manager-portfolio performance declines. But as long as the performance remains better than other managers’/portfolios’, it makes sense to continue the investment.

Turning norms upside down
“The Carnegie Mellon Graduate School of Industrial Administration is a surprisingly nimble organization. And it is quietly turning some of the accepted norms of business education upside down.” For example, the business school doesn’t have departments or department heads. Dean Dunn explains why: “It allows us to have a very interdisciplinary approach that we think is critical because many of the most difficult problems to solve in business go across functional areas.” This flexibility allows interdisciplinary courses and programs, such as the integrated product development course. “The engineers come up with an idea, the design department make the product user friendly and attractive and the business students look at how to take it to market,” explains Dunn. In addition, starting this year, the business school will also be accepting some applicants directly from their undergraduate programs without work experience in order to “enrich the diversity of the learning experience,” and collaborate on an integrated bachelor’s of science in engineering/MBA program.

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