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Mutual fund trading around mergers and fund performance

Margarita Kaprielyan (Department of Finance, Elon University, Elon, North Carolina, USA)
Md Miran Hossain (Department of Economics and Finance, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA)
Charles Armah Danso (Department of Finance, Law & Real Estate, California State University, Los Angeles, California, USA)

International Journal of Managerial Finance

ISSN: 1743-9132

Article publication date: 12 June 2019

Issue publication date: 16 January 2020




The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether mutual funds (MFs) take positions in companies that subsequently engage in M&As and whether fund managers adjust portfolio holdings in the same direction as wealth creation from mergers. Further, the study is the first to examine the relation between active trading surrounding M&As and risk-adjusted performance in MFs.


The sample includes mergers conducted by publicly traded acquirers of public and private targets over 2003–2016. Several measures of MF managerial activeness in M&As are introduced: merger trading intensity (proportional change in fund’s holdings of M&A stocks), active merger weight (deviation of the fund’s actual weights in M&A stocks and value weights) and active merger trading (deviation of the fund’s actual weights in M&A stocks from the average weights in M&A stocks across the funds within the same Center for Research in Security Prices objective).


Fund managers who are more vested in the firms engaged in M&As and who are more active in their trades of M&A firms generate higher contemporaneous and subsequent risk-adjusted performance, indicative of managerial skill. Active M&A trading effect on performance is economically meaningful.


This is the first study to examine whether previously documented predictive power of active institutions regarding M&As’ profitability leads to higher risk-adjusted returns for MF investors. The study introduces several measures to gauge how actively fund managers trade companies engaged in M&As and contributes to the literature on MF managers’ ability to pick stocks.



Kaprielyan, M., Hossain, M.M. and Danso, C.A. (2020), "Mutual fund trading around mergers and fund performance", International Journal of Managerial Finance, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 1-20.



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