The cost of ownership of mutual funds has been a recurring theme in the business press for much of the past decade in Canada and abroad. The combination of greater regulatory scrutiny and intense industry competition has led to a growing interest in pricing approaches which depart from the original “one-size-fits-all” fully-costed MER. But today’s take on mutual fund (re)pricing and unbundling is not limited to simply extricating the trailing commissions or servicing fees out of the fund management fees. Other adaptive pricing strategies focus on share classes targeted at specific distribution opportunities.
The current issue of Insight examines how management fees and MERs have changed over time by series of funds, paying particular attention to the evolution of HNW (or high net worth), fee-based and direct-to-client approaches. The analysis leverages our newly-recalibrated fund series universe (to be shortly available in SIMFUND Canada). The new multi-series paradigm reflects the pricing innovations that have proliferated in the past few years and permits us to track the trends du jour: the growing pricing flexibility and the various degrees of the unbundling of the management fees. The Trendlines piece looks at the most popular securities held by Canadian mutual funds.