Performance Fee Investment Management Agreement

Performance Fee Investment Management Agreement: What You Need to Know

The world of investment management is complex, with various types of agreements and contracts being used to govern relationships between investors and their managers. One such agreement that has gained popularity in recent years is the performance fee investment management agreement.

What is a Performance Fee Investment Management Agreement?

A performance fee investment management agreement (PFIMA) is a contract between an investment manager and an investor that outlines the compensation structure for the manager. Unlike traditional investment management agreements that pay managers a fixed fee based on assets under management, PFIMAs compensate managers based on their performance relative to a benchmark.

Under a PFIMA, the manager receives a percentage of the investment gains above a predetermined benchmark or hurdle rate. The idea behind this compensation structure is to incentivize managers to outperform their benchmarks, as they only earn money if they generate positive returns for investors.

Why Choose a PFIMA?

The primary advantage of a PFIMA is that it aligns the interests of the manager with those of the investor. In a traditional fee structure, managers are compensated regardless of their performance, which can lead to a misalignment of incentives. With a PFIMA, managers are incentivized to generate strong returns for investors, as this is the only way they earn money.

Another key benefit is that PFIMAs can be more cost-effective for investors. Since managers only earn a fee if they outperform their benchmarks, investors may end up paying less overall than they would with a traditional fee structure.

Potential Drawbacks of a PFIMA

While PFIMAs have many benefits, they may not be the best fit for every investor. One potential drawback is that they can be more complex than traditional fee structures, which may make them harder for investors to understand.

Another potential concern is that PFIMAs can lead to managers taking on more risk than they otherwise would. Since their compensation is tied to their performance, managers may be more willing to take on riskier investments in an attempt to generate higher returns.

Finally, it`s important to remember that PFIMAs don`t guarantee positive returns. While managers are incentivized to outperform their benchmarks, there`s always the risk that investments will underperform, resulting in lower returns for investors.


A performance fee investment management agreement is a unique compensation structure that can provide significant benefits for investors. By aligning the interests of the manager with those of the investor, PFIMAs can incentivize managers to outperform their benchmarks and generate strong returns. However, they may not be the best fit for everyone and come with potential drawbacks, including increased complexity and the potential for taking on more risk. Before choosing a PFIMA, investors should carefully consider their goals and risk tolerance to ensure it`s the right choice for their portfolio.

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