Asset manager

Asset manager article illustration


Asset managers invest a client’s money into financial assets through vehicles such as investment funds or the management of individual clients’ portfolios. This includes the management of the financial assets within a given investment policy and risk framework, providing information, and assessing and monitoring risks.

The duties of an asset manager typically include, but are not limited to:

  • Purchasing new assets and reinvesting funds and profits into new stocks and shares on behalf of a client
  • Selling stocks, shares, and assets to generate profits or to release funds to the client
  • Identifying opportunities for purchasing emerging stocks or assets through research
  • Presenting clients with evidence-based recommendations for investments or acquisitions
  • Keeping up-to-date with the latest financial trends and market developments
  • Keeping up-to-date with the latest financial laws and regulations
  • Developing and sustaining ongoing relationships with clients who are looking to invest in the long term
  • Source new business leads and opportunities to manage new client portfolios

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to asset manager:

wealth manager
assets manager
wealth management advisor
property managers
asset property managers
financial asset manager
financial advisor
wealth management adviser
assets managers
wealth managers
independent financial advisor
independent financial adviser
asset management advisers
asset management advisor
asset management adviser
financial asset managers
asset portfolio manager

Working conditions

While the work environment for asset managers may vary, they typically work full-time in an office setting. Asset managers may also work for their own individual practices. Some common places an asset manager may work at include:

  • Commercial banks
  • Mortgage brokerage firms
  • Real estate asset management companies
  • Real estate investment trusts.

Minimum qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, business administration, or a related field is generally the minimum required to work as an asset manager. Some employers prefer candidates with a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

The level of experience an asset manager requires depends mainly on the size or importance of the portfolios they manage. Employers may hire entry-level asset managers with limited direct asset management experience to handle small portfolios and gain experience. Employers can also look for entry-level candidates who have gained work experience at financial institutions or banks. For multi-million dollar – or equivalent – portfolios, employers look for asset managers with three or more years of experience working in financial markets.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Asset manager is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Asset manager career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to asset manager.

bank account manager
credit manager
financial broker
property acquisitions manager
stock trader

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of asset manager. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of asset manager with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

investment fund manager
investment analyst
investor relations manager
investment manager
mergers and acquisitions analyst

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of asset manager.

  • Financial statements: The set of financial records disclosing the financial position of a company at the end of a set period or of the accounting year. The financial statements consisting of five parts which are the statement of financial position, the statement of comprehensive income, the statement of changes in equity (SOCE), the statement of cash flows and notes.
  • Corporate social responsibility: The handling or managing of business processes in a responsible and ethical manner considering the economic responsibility towards shareholders as equally important as the responsibility towards environmental and social stakeholders.
  • Financial markets: The financial infrastructure which permits trading securities offered by companies and individuals govern by regulatory financial frameworks.
  • Financial analysis: The process of assessing the financial possibilities, means, and status of an organisation or individual by analysing financial statements and reports in order to make well informed business or financial decisions.
  • Modern portfolio theory: The theory of finance that attempts to either maximise the profit of an investment equivalent to the risk taken or to reduce the risk for the expected profit of an investment by judiciously choosing the right combination of financial products.
  • Actuarial science: The rules of applying mathematical and statistical techniques to determine potential or existing risks in various industries, such as finance or insurance.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of asset manager.

  • Advise on risk management: Provide advice on risk management policies and prevention strategies and their implementation, being aware of different kinds of risks to a specific organisation.
  • Enforce financial policies: Read, understand, and enforce the abidance of the financial policies of the company in regards with all the fiscal and accounting proceedings of the organisation.
  • Analyse market financial trends: Monitor and forecast the tendencies of a financial market to move in a particular direction over time.
  • Strive for company growth: Develop strategies and plans aiming at achieving a sustained company growth, be the company self-owned or somebody else’s. Strive with actions to increase revenues and positive cash flows.
  • Develop investment portfolio: Create an investment portfolio for a customer that includes an insurance policy or multiple policies to cover specific risks, such as financial risks, assistance, reinsurance, industrial risks or natural and technical disasters.
  • Review investment portfolios: Meet with clients to review or update an investment portfolio and provide financial advice on investments.
  • Examine credit ratings: Investigate and look for information on the creditworthiness of companies and corporations provided by credit rating agencies in order to determine the likelihood of default by the debtor.
  • Advise on financial matters: Consult, advise, and propose solutions with regards to financial management such as acquiring new assets, incurring in investments, and tax efficiency methods.
  • Manage financial risk: Predict and manage financial risks, and identify procedures to avoid or minimise their impact.
  • Analyse financial performance of a company: Based on accounts, records, financial statements and external information of the market, analyse the performance of the company in financial matters in order to identify improvement actions that could increase profit.
  • Perform asset recognition: Analyse expenditures to verify whether some may be classified as assets in the case where it is likely that the investment will return profit over time.
  • Analyse financial risk: Identify and analyse risks that could impact an organisation or individual financially, such as credit and market risks, and propose solutions to cover against those risks.
  • Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.
  • Follow company standards: Lead and manage according to the organisation’s code of conduct.
  • Handle financial transactions: Administer currencies, financial exchange activities, deposits as well as company and voucher payments. Prepare and manage guest accounts and take payments by cash, credit card and debit card.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of asset manager. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Funding methods: The financial possibilities for funding projects such as the traditional ones, namely loans, venture capital, public or private grants up to alternative methods such as crowdfunding.
  • Financial management: The field of finance that concerns the practical process analysis and tools for designating financial resources. It encompasses the structure of businesses, the investment sources, and the value increase of corporations due to managerial decision-making.
  • Securities: The financial instruments traded in financial markets representing both the right of property over the owner and at the same time, the obligation of payment over the issuer. The aim of securities which is raising capital and hedging risk in financial markets.
  • Credit control processes: The various techniques and procedures applied to ensure that credit is given to the suitable customers and that they pay on time.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of asset manager. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Apply credit risk policy: Implement company policies and procedures in the credit risk management process. Permanently keep company’s credit risk at a manageable level and take measures to avoid credit failure.
  • Create a financial plan: Develop a financial plan according to financial and client regulations, including an investor profile, financial advice, and negotiation and transaction plans.
  • Interpret financial statements: Read, understand, and interpret the key lines and indicators in financial statements. Extract the most important information from financial statements depending on the needs and integrate this information in the development of the department’s plans.
  • Provide support in financial calculation: Provide colleagues, clients or other parties with financial support for complex files or calculations.
  • Obtain financial information: Gather information on securities, market conditions, governmental regulations and the financial situation, goals and needs of clients or companies.
  • Review closing procedures: Review the documentation and gather information on the closing process of assets trading, the step in which the ownership is officially transferred from one party to another, in order to verify whether all the procedures were compliant with legislation and that all contractual agreements were followed.
  • Exert expenditure control: Analyse expenditure accounts against the income and usages of different company units, companies, or organisms at large. Recommend usage of financial resources in efficient manners.
  • Negotiate on asset value: Negotiate with asset owners or parties involved in handling the asset on the monetary value of the asset for selling, insurance, usage as collatoral, or other purposes, in order to secure the most financially beneficial agreement for the client.
  • Plan health and safety procedures: Set up procedures for maintaining and improving health and safety in the workplace.
  • Apply technical communication skills: Explain technical details to non-technical customers, stakeholders, or any other interested parties in a clear and concise manner.
  • Consult credit score: Analyse the credit files of an individual, such as credit reports which outlines a person’s credit history, in order to assess their creditworthiness and all the risks that would be involved in granting a person a loan.
  • Negotiate loan agreements: Negotiate with banking professionals or other parties functioning as lenders in order to negotiate the interest rates and other aspects of the loan contract in order to obtain the most beneficial agreement for the borrower.
  • Identify clients’ needs: Identify the areas in which the client may require aid and investigate the possibilities for meeting those needs.
  • Handle financial disputes: Handle disputes between individuals or organisations, either public or corporate, which deal with financial matters, accounts, and taxation.

ISCO group and title

3311 – Securities and finance dealers and brokers

  1. Asset manager – ESCO
  2. Asset Manager Job Description | Indeed UK
  3. What Is Asset Management? | Singapore
  4. Featured image: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Last updated on February 27, 2023

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