- Analyse business and macroeconomic data to select which financial products to include in your portfolio
- Utilise your analytical skills and decision making to help your clients get a positive return
- Develop relationships and a strong network within the financial services industry and the corporate world
As a portfolio manager in asset management, you'll be in charge of investment strategies for a client's fund. Working in an asset management firm, which tends to have multiple portfolio managers, you'll usually specialise in a particular asset class (e.g. equities or bonds) and pick what financial products to invest in for their portfolio.
As a junior in asset management, you will be a research analyst. Research analysts support the portfolio managers by conducting thorough research to help generate investment ideas. Your day-to-day tasks will involve going through company reports and learning about their business models while also building and analysing financial models to help your portfolio management team gain an edge over the competition.
You'll work long hours and be based in an office. Your working environment may be stressful at times.
For this role, you'll need technical and analytical ability, project and time management skills, the ability to cope well under pressure, and good communication skills.
You would normally need a degree to work in asset management, in a degree such as economics or finance, but specific subjects aren't essential. Asset management firms do recruit students straight from university. Most asset management firms offer summer and off-cycle internships for university students/recent graduates, and if you perform well on your internship, they could give you an offer to join them once you have completed your studies. It is also possible to get on to an asset management graduate programme without having a prior internship.
You can also move into asset management later on in your career, such as from a research analyst or a sales and trading analyst in investment banks. Some accountants become portfolio managers once they have gained the ACA qualification.
As you progress through your career, you can decide whether to further specialise in research or go on to portfolio management.
In asset management, transactions and client interaction is long term, and you'll maintain and build on these client relationships over a number of years, with the ultimate goal to see the fund grow over time. The clients that you will serve in asset management are usually insurance funds and pension funds.