Performance Perspectives Blog

Performance examinations: when should you have them done (and when absolutely not)?

by | Mar 22, 2012

By now, if you’re a regular (or even infrequent) reader of this blog and/or The Spaulding Group‘s newsletter, you know of my dislike for GIPS(R) (Global Investment Performance Standards) performance examinations. I have commented at length as to how compliance with the Standards and having annual verifications done are investments, but that in most cases, examinations are an expense or cost that should be avoided. But are there times when they should be done?

Yes, of course!

  • If the firm believes they have value! To put it simply, if the firm disagrees with me and feels that this exercise provides them with benefits, then by all means, have them conducted.
  • If a prospect virtually mandates that the composite(s) that align with their strategy have them done, and you feel that by having them conducted, you’ll stand a better chance of winning the business
  • If you find that for your primary composites the market fairly often inquires into whether or not examinations are done.

We’ve told our verification clients that we’ll come in immediately, even over a weekend, if they require an examination to be performed (no one has yet taken us up on this offer). Until that time, most of our clients avoid the expense.

Are there times when they should absolutely NOT be done? Well, one particular case comes to mind:

  • For non-marketed composites.

Note that the GIPS standards do not speak of “marketed” and “non-marketed” composites, but the industry surely understands the concept. We see absolutely no need to have examinations performed for non-marketed composites. By sheer virtue of their status, any possible benefits are nonexistent, are they not?

We know that some firms do have them done, but don’t understand why. If you do, please let me know the reason(s) why. If you’re a verifier and conduct them, chime in, too! And, if you have them done but don’t know why, ask your verifier and tell me what they report, as I am curious as to the benefits they provide you for the costs involved. Thanks!

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