Q & A Database
The GIPS Standards Q&A database contains questions and answers (Q&As) on various searchable topics that provide additional interpretation on an issue. Q&As are considered to be authoritative guidance and must be followed in order to claim compliance with the GIPS standards.
Content from prior Q&As was included in the GIPS Standards Handbook as much as possible and many Q&As were archived. Change the Status drop-down filter to "Archived" to see the archived Q&As.
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ArchivedEffective: 1 June, 2011 - 31 December, 2019Categories: BenchmarksSource: GIPS Executive Committee
For one of our composites, we use a portfolio-weighted custom benchmark that is created monthly using the benchmarks of the individual portfolios in the composite. The GIPS standards require that if a firm changes the benchmark, the firm must disclose the date of, description of, and reason for the change. Given the nature of the benchmark, the benchmark is subject to change each month. What must be disclosed to satisfy this requirement?
The GIPS standards require that if a custom benchmark or combination of multiple benchmarks is used, the firm must disclose the benchmark components, weights, and rebalancing process. In this example, the benchmark may change every month as part of the normal procedure. It is required in this instance to disclose that the benchmark is rebalanced monthly using the weighted average returns of the benchmarks of all of the portfolios included in the composite. A firm is not required to disclose how the underlying portfolio benchmarks and weights have changed each month. If the benchmark for the composite were to change from a portfolio-weighted custom benchmark created monthly using the benchmarks of the individual portfolios in the composite to a market index, this would be a benchmark change that must be disclosed.
In the spirit of full disclosure and fair representation, firms must disclose the components that comprise the portfolio-weighted custom benchmark, including the weights that each component represents, as of the most recent annual period end. Firms should also offer to provide this information for prior periods upon request.
The Long US Government/Credit Custom Benchmark is calculated using the benchmarks of portfolios in the Composite. The benchmark is rebalanced monthly based on the beginning values of portfolios included in the composite. As of December 31, 2009, the breakdown of the benchmark is 88.2% Barclays Capital US Long Government/Credit Index and 11.8% Barclays Capital US Long Government/Credit A+ Index. The breakdown of the custom benchmark for different time periods is available upon request.