In a constantly evolving business scenario, conventional professional figures are no longer sufficient. The world of finance has observed over the years an increasing specialization of professionals. In this context we observe the search for figures whose expertise is able to encompass and integrate multiple fields and transversal knowledge. What once might have seemed superfluous today is a significant added value. It is in this perspective that the figure of the Asset Manager must be framed, a role increasingly requested by institutional and non-institutional investors, and in general by holders of financial assets.
The Asset Manager, however, despite the high demand, remains an almost obscure profession for the outsiders. This is due to the progressive but still slow growth of the professional figure in Italy. Therefore, the most banal but also the most important question arises quite naturally: who is the Asset Manager and what does he do specifically?
Who is and what does the Asset Manager do
By analyzing the job title, the Asset Manager is the one who is in charge of managing “assets” or goods, on behalf of his clients. But what does it mean, exactly, ” assets “? Depending on the field of specialization, the professional figure in question can deal with typical transferable assets (shares, bonds, cash). He can also deal with alternative investments (private equity, hedge funds, commodities, metals, natural resources, and real estate), human capital, or even intellectual property. It is therefore clear that he deals with the management of some kind of wealth on behalf of third parties.
In this context, the professional known as Asset Manager is in charge of managing the savings conferred to him/her, guaranteeing their profitability over time with the intention of maximizing their value. In particular according to the risk profile identified by the client or the company on whose behalf he or she operates. His interventions can be limited to a specific sector of reference (funds, shares, real estate, etc.) but also to a specific geographical area. In this case, the work of the professional is oriented to different types of investment and, if possible, the type of action required is even more delicate and complex.
To explain in detail what the Asset Manager deals with and what his typical day is would be very long and complex. Trying to outline his or her activities, however, one could say that there are two basic steps. It starts with Asset Allocation.
In this phase one proceeds to the definition of the investment strategies to be adopted in order to optimize the return on the assets, according to the levels of risk that the client establishes in advance. The Management Style is then applied. In this phase are taken into account the most operational aspects, such as the portfolio management methods, the criteria and principles adopted for Asset Allocation or Stock Allocation and so on.
Real Estate Asset Manager
In Real Estate the Asset Manager is a multifaceted figure. It is literally the process owner of all real estate processes. A professional who, thanks to a transversal coordination at all corporate levels, is able to catalyze the different activities carried out by his colleagues (from planning to property and facility management to the commercial office). His is also the task of giving all processes a scientific shape such that it is able to make the most of the assets entrusted to the Company. To do so, of course, he needs a variety of technical and organizational skills, as well as a strong multitasking ability. Its task is therefore a constant monitoring of the situation of real estate and managed assets. This activity makes it possible to identify market opportunities and exploit them at the most appropriate time, always in accordance with the management mandate given, depending on the risk-return profile selected by the client.
Abilities and experice of a Real Estate Asset Manager
The course of an Asset Manager, especially a Real Estate Asset Manager, is never linear. This professional figure can in fact have a degree in economics or law, as well as in architecture or engineering. Often the expertise required by his role will be acquired through specialization courses, constant training and updating.
In order to be able to perform his or her job in the best possible way, the Real Estate Asset Manager must undoubtedly have in-depth knowledge. First and foremost, of those regulations that discipline the markets. But he must also be familiar with the instruments of analysis and interpretation of the data of the market itself, of the financial products, of the techniques of evaluation of the value of the real estate or assets entrusted to him. He must also have knowledge of valuation and asset allocation techniques, as well as the dynamics and techniques of risk management. He must adapt to the methods of analysis of macro-economic variables that could affect all the above factors. These include, of course, the risk levels established by its clients. Recently it is also seen to increase the incidence of ESG issues in the allocation policies of the savings conferred. This has led to the consequent need to adopt additional assessment methods in the selection of investments.
The soft skills, on the other hand, must necessarily include good time management skills, a strong numerical and accounting skills, an analytical mind and, without a doubt, although this is not a skill that can be acquired, a rather decent sixth sense.