Mutual funds’ exits, financial crisis and Darwin

Ania Zalewska, Yue Zhang

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


It is recognized in the literature that there is a negative relationship between fund performance and fund exit. This paper analyses the performance of 6,600 U.S. mutual funds that exited the market in the 2000 – 2014 period and nearly twice as many U.S. mutual funds that remained operational, to provide evidence on whether the negative exit – performance relationship existed during the 2008 financial crisis. We confirm the general relationship but show that, in contrast to all the other periods, there was no statistically significant exit – performance relationship during the financial crisis. We also show that the impact of expenses and loads on fund exit increased during the crisis. This is consistent with our argument that when some active investors leave the market, the passive ones become important to fund–families, albeit the investors may lose out as a result. We also show that the mergers that occurred in the years following the financial crisis resulted in statistically significantly worse post–merger performance of both the acquirers and of the targets in comparison with their pre–merger performance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages49
Specialist publicationJournal of Corporate Finance
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sep 2020


  • mutual funds
  • performance
  • liquidations
  • mergers
  • financial crisis
  • agency conflict

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