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Francesca Lenoci

20 November 2019
Financial Stability Review Issue 2, 2019
When investment funds face outflows, fund managers may have to liquidate parts of their portfolio, potentially changing its composition and riskiness as a result. If fund managers respond to outflows by selling securities proportionally to the initial asset allocation, i.e. selling a vertical slice of the portfolio, the liquidity and risk profile of the fund remains unchanged. But asset managers might have incentives to reduce the portfolio non-proportionally. For example, in trying to avoid incurring losses on illiquid assets, managers might choose to sell the most liquid securities first. And in the hope of increasing returns and attracting future inflows, they might choose to take on more risk in their portfolio. Other managers, worried about future outflows, might hoard liquid securities and de-risk their portfolios. However, large sales of illiquid securities may affect their market price at times of relatively low market liquidity, with possible spillovers to other financial institutions holding the same assets.