The job of an asset manager is essentially to make money from money, and with as little risk as possible. They are investors, responsible for diversifying their clients’ portfolios between the likes of stocks, bonds and hedge funds etc., whilst working within a specific set of guidelines so as to accrue more wealth.
Like all areas of finance however, asset management is its own industry and as such offers many different jobs beyond that of a fund manager. From analysts and economists, to sales and marketing people; traders, accountants and tech specialists – the openings are almost endless.
That said anyone wanting to get their foot into the asset management door must still possess a reputable arsenal of skills and qualifications. This is a competitive industry that moves at as fast a pace as the money being shifted around.
Generally speaking, the only route in will be a degree in finance and for undergraduates wanting to go into asset management the best course of action is to take as many statistics and accounting classes as possible. This is an industry that requires a hefty amount of number crunching and financial modelling even at a base level and so literacy with programs such as SPSS and Excel will be a prerequisite.
Without an MBA or CFA, candidates serious about working in asset management should consider starting in sales and marketing and be prepared to climb the ladder one rung at a time. This may sound tedious and intimidating but there are many opportunities to be had once you are in with a firm and can prove your worth.
Employers will also be looking for more general attributes such as strong communication skills as well as any managerial potential. Being able to manage a team of people as well as your limited resources is vital in any role of responsibility within asset management. The same applies for decision making and fast thinking in the event of any loss. Time is of the essence in every nook of finance.
Entry-level jobs within asset management include the following:
- Fund accountant
- Junior research analyst
- Quantitative analyst
For candidates of more experience and qualifications, suitable roles may include:
- Buy side research analyst
- Sell side research analyst
- Portfolio manager
- Financial advisor
- Relationship manager
- Sales manager
With the Internet continuing to reshape the financial sectors on a global scale, asset management is coming into its own. The future is looking good for firms in this industry and so a move into asset management is worth considering for finance professionals.
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