Independent Investment Firms Have Competitive Advantages in Generating Alpha

With certain fundamental attributes, focused boutique managers are positioned to outperform broad market indices as well as non-boutique peers.

  • Principals have significant direct equity ownership, ensuring alignment of interests with clients
  • Unique entrepreneurial culture, which attracts a multi-generational group of talented investors and management partners
  • Investment-centric organizational alignment characterized by specialized expertise and a unique investment process focused on delivering returns with a long-term perspective
  • Principals are committed to building an enduring franchise, embedding an appropriately long-term orientation

The Independent Boutique Advantage in Volatile Environments

The debate over the value proposition of active management has intensified, particularly against the backdrop of increased market volatility. However, this debate typically overlooks key differences among active managers. A subset of active managers have inherent competitive advantages in generating alpha: partner-owned boutique firms. As a supplement to AMG’s proprietary study, The Boutique Premium, we examined independent boutique performance and its relationship to market volatility over the past 20 years. Our new study demonstrates that:

  • Boutiques meaningfully outperformed both non-boutiques and passive indexing in periods of elevated volatility
  • Boutiques generated substantial net excess returns versus indices in all 11 institutional equity categories studied
  • Boutiques also significantly outperformed non-boutiques in 10 of 11 institutional equity categories

Independent Boutique Firms Have Generated Long-Term Outperformance Versus Non-Boutique Peers and Passive Indexing: The Boutique Premium

AMG’s proprietary study of over 1,300 individual investment management firms globally and nearly 5,000 institutional equity strategies (across 11 alpha-oriented equity categories representing approximately US$7 trillion in AUM over a 20-year period) revealed that:

  • Boutiques broadly outperformed non-boutiques
  • Top-performing boutiques added more value for clients than bottom-performing boutiques detracted
  • Boutiques created significant value versus indices
  • Top-performing boutiques generated exceptional excess returns versus indices
  • Boutique strategies, on average, had a high frequency of outperforming indices
  • Boutique outperformance versus indices was persistent

Advantages for Clients in Partnering With AMG Affiliates


AMG has built a global distribution platform across key financial centers around the world, through which clients have a single point of access to the widest array of return-seeking products managed by independent boutique firms


AMG Affiliates are known as leaders in their respective investing disciplines and offer industry-leading investment strategies across the most attractive return-oriented product areas, particularly global equities and alternative strategies


  • AMG has a track record of successful partnerships for 30 years, selecting the highest-quality independent firms worldwide as partners
  • Hallmarks of AMG’s Affiliates include long-term records of investment outperformance; aligned interests via direct equity ownership; entrepreneurial, investment-centric cultures; and multi-generational management teams
  • AMG’s partnership approach preserves the essential elements that have made its Affiliates successful over time