2015 Commonfund Prize Winner Announced

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

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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.

The Commonfund Prize, awarded for original research relevant to endowment and foundation asset management, has been won in 2015 by researchers from Saïd Business School, Oxford University 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% of the consulting market and focuses on the recommendations consultants made for actively managed U.S. 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

For the Press Office:

Charles Goldsmith
Head of Media Relations
Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
+44 (0)1223 339608
+44 (0)7912 162279
c.goldsmith(at)jbs(dot)cam(dot)ac(dot)uk

Lina Vysniauskiene
Senior Communications Officer (PR)
Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
+44 (0)1223 764219
+44 (0)1223 339608
l.vysniauskiene(at)jbs(dot)cam(dot)ac(dot)uk

Notes to Editors

About the winning authors
Tim Jenkinson
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Howard Jones
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Jose Martinez
University of Connecticut School of Business

About the Newton Centre for Endowment Asset Management
The Newton Centre for Endowment Asset Management is a research and education centre dedicated to furthering scholarship and understanding of the unique investment challenges faced by long-term investors. The addition of the Commonfund Prize to the Centre’s core activities enhances its research engagement in this area and complements the Centre’s long-running endowment asset management programme.

About the Commonfund Institute
The Commonfund Institute is the focal point for Commonfund’s educational and professional development activities, research programs, publications, and communications. The Institute was founded to house the education and research activities of Commonfund and to provide the nonprofit community with investment information and professional development programs. It is dedicated to the advancement of investment knowledge and the promotion of best practices in financial management.

About Commonfund
Commonfund is a nonprofit institutional investment firm that delivers solutions for strategic long-term investors, primarily nonprofit institutions. It was founded in 1971 with a two-part mission: to create investment solutions for nonprofits that previously did not have the scale and access to the best managers, and to provide research and education regarding best investment practices. As of December 31, 2014, Commonfund manages $25 billion for over 1,300 institutions with a focus on: outsourced solutions; alternative investment strategies and private capital.

About Cambridge Judge Business School
Situated within one of the world's most prestigious research universities, and in the heart of the Cambridge Cluster, Cambridge Judge Business School leverages the power of academia for real world impact. Since 1990, the School has forged a reputation as a focus of rigorous thinking and high-impact transformative education. Cutting edge research is rooted in real-world challenges, and students, clients and future leaders are drawn from a diversity of backgrounds and countries.

About Newton
Newton is a London-based, global investment management subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, with over £51bn of assets under management for pension funds, charities and individual investors. Newton’s clients include pension funds, charities and corporations around the world. The firm uses a global thematic investment approach to identify areas of opportunity and risk.

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