Active Management


The value of active management has been questioned in recent years in the press and by policymakers. The narrative seems to be: passive management is cheaper, and therefore better, while active management underperforms, primarily because of fees. This “active vs. passive” dichotomy is a disservice to investors, the markets, and the economy. Indeed, both active and passive (and variations in between) have important roles to play in investment management and the markets.

Karen Barr

I am therefore pleased to announce that the IAA has formed a new Active Managers Council. The idea for this Council was generated by members. The Council brings together interested IAA members to support education, advocacy and research with respect to active management.  While the activities and potential costs of the Council will be determined by its members, we expect that the Council will be involved in curating and sponsoring education and research on the value of active management, engaging in relevant public policy issues, and cultivating relationships with other organizations, universities and other thought leaders in support of the Council’s goals. 

Based on the feedback we’ve received, we believe this is an important initiative for our industry and for our member firms. An organizing committee made up of representatives from 15 IAA member firms has worked together over the past several months to establish the purpose, goals, and objectives of the Council. Three task forces have been formed to advance the Council’s mission in three areas:

Purpose: To promote value of active management

  • Goals & Objectives:
    • Foster education and thought leadership regarding active management
    • Provide positive, accurate messaging, and correct the misconceptions, about active management
    • Level the playing field from a public policy perspective
  • Task Forces:
    • Research Task Force: to sponsor and curate relevant research
    • Communications Task Force: to develop messaging and communications strategy
    • Public Policy Task Force: to identify key public policy debates for engagement and education

The IAA officially launched the Council at the IAA Leadership Conference in Chicago on October 5.  Since then, the Council’s membership has more than doubled – to more than 30 representatives of IAA member firms.

The IAA is very pleased to support this initiative, which we believe is a critically important issue for many member firms. We welcome your involvement and look forward to hearing from you if you have comments or questions.

Karen L. Barr
IAA President & CEO

Getting Involved

At this time, membership in the Active Managers Council is exclusively for IAA member firms. For more information about the Council – or to join the Active Managers Council and help advance its mission – please contact IAA Vice President of Business Practices & Member Engagement Liz Terry at

For information on joining the IAA, please contact IAA Director of Member Marketing Alain Taylor at