What's in a Name? Mutual Fund Flows When Managers Have Foreign-Sounding Names

Alok Kumar, Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi, Oliver G. Spalt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We show that name-induced stereotypes affect the investment choices of U.S. mutual fund investors. Managers with foreign-sounding names have about 10% lower annual fund flows, and this effect is stronger among funds with investor clienteles more likely to be suspicious of foreigners. Foreign-named managers experience lower appreciation (greater decline) in flows following good (bad) performance. Following 9/11, flows to funds with managers with Middle-Eastern-sounding names declined abnormally. In an experimental setting in which skill differences are absent, individuals allocate 11% less money to an index fund managed by a foreign-named manager. This gap widens following the Boston marathon bombings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2281-2321
Number of pages41
JournalReview of Financial Studies
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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