Asset Management

This sector covers all our fund management or asset management jobs. Known also as ‘the buyside’, fund management is all about investing other people’s money, and earning a fee for the privilege. In many cases, investors are pension funds or ‘institutional investors’. They may also be private individuals, governments or corporations. The asset management jobs section includes all jobs in fund management firms – whether those fund managers are investing in equities, fixed income products, or commodities. It also includes jobs in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) – investment funds which are tradable on stock exchanges and which are less costly to investors than standard mutual funds. Jobs are also included for asset management trainees and graduates, with a path set to develop careers in asset management.

Traditionally, fund managers have pursued ‘long only’ strategies, in which they purchased a financial services product, held onto it and hoped it would rise in value. Many institutional investors continue to place the bulk of their money with long only fund managers pursuing this kind of strategy. However, it is also becoming more common for institutional investors to place their money with alternative investment funds which can profit when markets fall.

Very broadly speaking, careers in fund management fall into two categories: active fund managers and passive fund managers.

Active asset managers are those who have to use their skill to beat the market average and often take bigger risks with their investments for better rewards.

By comparison, passive management, or index tracking, involves selecting a portfolio of assets whose value will match that of a financial index – such as the UK’s FTSE 100, Eurostoxx 50 in the eurozone, the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the US and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong. Simply creating returns that match the market is known as ‘generating beta’.

Investment roles – these roles are all about investing the money managed by the asset management firm. People in investment jobs are usually either financial analysts – who scrutinise the best companies and products in which to invest – or portfolio managers, who have the final responsibility for investment decisions on a range of funds across their area of expertise, be it equities, fixed income or alternatives.

Distribution roles – distribution covers roles such as sales, marketing, product development and client servicing. It’s all about selling a fund manager’s services to clients. Most distribution jobs are focused on winning new business or maintaining existing relationships.

Asset managers also employ research analysts. This less than glamorous role involves working closely with the portfolio managers, visiting companies to assess their investment potential, and sifting through buy and sell information and company reports.

As in investment banking, there’s also a whole range of middle-office jobs in fund management in areas such as compliance, operations, performance measurement and risk management.