The trouble with incentives: Alignment is as alignment does
It’s easy to claim you are engaged in aligning interests between investors and investment managers. It’s another thing entirely to actually do something that aligns those interests. To be clear, connecting people with similar interests is not the same thing as aligning those interests.
Take an investor with an interest in increasing his or her exposure to neighborhood and community shopping centers. Connecting this investor with investment managers focused on neighborhood and community shopping centers definitely will help satisfy that desire to find a well-matched investment manager. But merely connecting these two is not the same as aligning their interests because there always will be an agency problem that needs to be addressed.
I’ve talked about the agency problem in this column before. The agency problem arises when anyone assumes responsibility for managing the affairs of another.
As Bob Burke, one of the founders of AMB Property Co. (a publicly tra