How to Be a Successful Asset Manager?

Estimated read time 4 min read

Are you considering a career change or just starting out in asset management? Do you know the core skills and competencies you need to develop? Read on to find out if you have what it takes to be a successful asset manager.

What Does An Asset Manager Do?

An asset manager is responsible for managing an individual or company’s assets on their behalf. This can include property, commodities, money, stocks, shares and bonds, equities and other financial products. 

An asset manager’s goal is to enhance the market value of their client’s assets to deliver the best returns possible while also ensuring that assets do not depreciate in value and mitigating any exposure to risk. 

Why is Asset Management Important?

Why is Asset Management Important

Many business owners and investors employ an asset manager because it delivers a range of benefits:

  • Assets are effectively monitored and recorded. The client knows exactly what assets they have, where they are kept and how they are performing at any one time. This makes it easy to identify opportunities for improving returns or recouping capital to raise cash when it is needed.
  • Risks are promptly identified and managed. An asset manager is responsible for constantly monitoring their client’s assets. This means that any potential risks can be quickly flagged and mitigated.
  • “Ghost assets” are easy to spot and remove. If an asset becomes lost, damaged or stolen, the asset manager should register this and remove the asset from their client’s books.
  • Improve the process for acquiring and utilising assets. By constantly tracking and analysing the performance of assets, the asset manager can provide the client with the insights they need to continually improve their strategy for acquiring and utilising the assets they hold, which will ultimately result in a better return on investment.
  • Facilitating effective compliance. The client may be required to submit various reports on how they acquire, utilise and dispose of assets to ensure compliance with relevant regulations. An asset manager ensures that all information regarding the client’s assets is up to date and accurate, thereby making the report writing process much easier and more efficient.

How to Become an Asset Manager

Traits and Skills of Successful Asset Managers

There are several ways to start your career as an asset manager:

  • Complete a relevant undergraduate degree, such as construction, business studies or finance. Then complete an undergraduate trainee scheme while working for a company as a junior or assistant asset manager.
  • Complete a postgraduate qualification to build on a relevant undergraduate degree and increase your chances of finding employment.
  • Gain relevant work experience. You will probably need to do this in addition to one of the options above. Gaining hands-on experience will score you big points with potential employers.

Traits and Skills of Successful Asset Managers

  • Negotiation. The ability and confidence to negotiate contracts and terms effectively on the client’s behalf. 
  • Cash flow management. Keeping a close eye on the flow of cash from properties and other assets in the client’s portfolio and knowing when to make changes, such as arranging a quick house sale to free up cash from a non-profitable property. 
  • Building professional relationships. Asset managers will need to work with a diverse range of professionals — leasing agents, investors, clients, financial advisors, property managers — and building strong relationships is key to their success.
  • Recruitment. Your responsibilities may include hiring key personnel, such as property managers.
  • Experience in property asset management. Most employers will expect some relevant property asset management experience in either a consultancy or client-side role. Many asset managers begin their careers in property management
  • Knowledge of financial modelling. Not all employers will insist that you have skills and experience in this area, but an increasing number do. If you have the time and means to upskill in financial modelling, it will stand you in good stead.
  • Analysis and reporting. You must be able to analyse the performance of your client’s assets and produce comprehensive reports that allow them to make informed decisions about how their assets are managed. 

Becoming a successful asset manager will require a mix of relevant traits, skills, experience and qualifications. The route you take will be individual to your career goals and the opportunities presented to you. However, developing some or all of the above competencies will help you build a strong foundation for a successful career in asset management.


Sarah Cantley

Editorial Head at UK Blog for Business & Startup.

Must Read