Asset Management: Industry Overview, Careers & Salaries (2024)

An Overview Of The Asset Management Industry, Including Career Case Studies, Salaries and Exit Opportunities.

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What Is Asset Management?

Definition: Asset Management refers to the division of a financial institution or hedge fund that manages investments on behalf of clients, from planning an investment strategy through to execution of trades, diversification, reporting and rebalancing.

Because Asset Management is so broad, this article features a number of case studies that illustrate the range of AM careers that are possible.

Topics & Case Studies

Asset Management Internships
Asset Management Sales
On The Job
Pension Fund AM
Vs. Hedge Funds

Breaking Into Asset Management

The main “pure play” asset management firms are mutual funds – firms that collect money from the public and invest it into specific pooled investments.

Mutual funds tend to be much more stable from a personnel standpoint. There’s far less entry-level recruiting than, say, hedge funds, and there’s lower turnover – especially at the top levels.

AM firms seek the following qualities in candidates:

  • Passion for the markets and investing
  • Ability and willingness to be a team player.
  • Work experience in a related field, such as equity research or smaller mutual funds.
  • Ability to generate new investment ideas.
  • Risk management and staying calm under pressure.

Grades and university/MBA quality matter, and, unlike in Investment Banking or Private Equity, a CFA designation may help.

As a student, you can boost your chances of breaking in with internships, participation in investment clubs, and networking, networking, and more networking.

The Asset Management Firm Recruiting Process

The recruiting process is typical of other roles in finance:

  1. Apply online or do a lot of networking
  2. Take an initial phone or HireVue interview
  3. Do a series of in-person or video interviews

For more detail, refer to our article on asset management internships.

Asset Management: Industry Overview, Careers & Salaries (7)

Salaries and compensation at AM firms such as mutual funds tend to be lower than those in IB, PE or Hedge Funds.

If a high salary is your goal, you’re usually better off starting at one of the largest firms worldwide with $100+ billion in AUM – the likes of Fidelity, Wellington, T. Rowe Price, PIMCO, MFS, and so on.The higher the AUM, the higher the fees, and the higher your potential compensation.

Assuming you’re at a large AM firm with $100B+ AUM:

  • if you start as an Associate (i.e., out of undergrad rather than an MBA program), expect something closer to hedge fund Junior Analyst pay: the $100K to $150K range.
  • As a post-MBA Analyst at a large mutual fund, total compensation might be on par with what post-MBA IB Associates earn: around $250K to $350K.
  • At the Portfolio Manager level, earning potential is around $1.0 – $1.5 million per year.

At smaller firms, you can assume lower compensation closer to the bottom of these ranges and perhaps much lower, especially at higher seniority levels.

Asset Management: Industry Overview, Careers & Salaries (8)

On The Job, Lifestyle and Culture

In general, AM offers better work/life balance and less stress than hedge funds, but also a lower compensation ceiling and slower advancement.

Here are a few differences between the two:

  • Lower Stress Levels and Shorter Hours – most AM professionals work 50 to 60 hours per week, compared with 60 to 70 per week in hedge funds. Also, stress levels tend to be lower because you’re not paid directly based on performance.
  • Less Granular Analysis – Many hedge funds tend to be fairly concentrated in specific positions. But many mutual funds hold dozens or even 100+ stocks. At that level, it’s not possible to analyze each company’s new quarterly or annual reports in detail.
  • Less “Banker Culture” – While hedge funds recruit plenty of former bankers and private equity professionals, the mix of professionals is quite different in AM. As a broad generalization, the culture is less “fratty” and more intellectual.

Asset Management: Industry Overview, Careers & Salaries (9)

When you work at an AM firm, your most likely exit opportunities are other funds that use similar strategies.

You are unlikely to get into fields like private equity, investment banking, venture capital, or corporate development because they all require deal experience.

You may be able to do it if you’ve worked in one of those before joining a hedge fund or mutual fund, or you complete an MBA, but otherwise, it’s a challenge.

Asset Management: Industry Overview, Careers & Salaries (10)

Career Resources

Like all types of finance careers, There are more professionals seeking Asset Management roles than there are jobs available.

Funds need people who are technically proficient and who demonstrate strong “fit” and passion for investing. They want to hire small teams of the top professionals who can hit the ground running and add value from day one.

That’s why many aspiring AM professionals invest in specialized courses and training to help them get noticed, get hired, and get promoted.

Some of the courses offered by Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street include:

Asset Management: Industry Overview, Careers & Salaries (11)

Asset Management: Industry Overview, Careers & Salaries (12)

Asset Management: Industry Overview, Careers & Salaries (13)

Asset Management: Industry Overview, Careers & Salaries (2024)


Asset Management: Industry Overview, Careers & Salaries? ›

Asset Manager salary in India ranges between ₹ 2.3 Lakhs to ₹ 16.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 6.5 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 1.2k latest salaries received from Asset Managers.

What is the highest salary in asset management? ›

Asset Manager salary in India ranges between ₹ 2.3 Lakhs to ₹ 16.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 6.5 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 1.2k latest salaries received from Asset Managers.

How much do you get paid in asset management? ›

Asset Manager salaries in United Kingdom

The estimated total pay for a Asset Manager is £57,738 per year, with an average salary of £49,404 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users.

Can you make a lot of money in asset management? ›

As a post-MBA Analyst at a large mutual fund, total compensation might be on par with what post-MBA IB Associates earn: around $250K to $350K. At the Portfolio Manager level, earning potential is around $1.0 – $1.5 million per year.

What is the salary of top asset management? ›

Global Asset Management Salary
Annual SalaryWeekly Pay
Top Earners$135,000$2,596
75th Percentile$109,000$2,096
25th Percentile$74,500$1,432

Is asset management a good career path? ›

For those who value stability and a good work/life balance but still want substantial compensation, asset management could be the perfect fit. However, the field is still quite competitive and intellectually demanding, so a degree and additional professional qualifications are a must.

Does asset management pay more than investment banking? ›

At the mid-levels, VPs and Directors in IB also earn significantly more than the equivalent positions in WM (it's maybe a ~30 – 50% discount in WM). At the top, MDs in wealth management can theoretically earn $1 million+ year, just as many investment banking MDs do.

Is it hard to get into asset management? ›

If your goal is to be a portfolio manager for a mutual fund company or a prestigious Wall Street firm, a degree in finance or economics from an Ivy League or other top-tier institution is a good start. These firms are selective and generally only hire the most promising graduates.

Do you need a degree to be an asset manager? ›

To become an asset manager, you need a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, or a relevant field. Experience is crucial for finding a job, so while you are in school, you should intern at an investment bank or financial institution.

Is it hard to become an asset manager? ›

Asset management attracts the brightest talent and it should not come as a surprise that getting a role in this field is quite competitive. First of all, candidates need to have a passion for investments and capital markets, backed by strong financial literacy and numerical acumen.

How prestigious is asset management? ›

Although it may not have quite the cachet of investment banking, asset management is still one of the most prestigious and desirable areas in finance.

What is the best qualification for asset management? ›

Earning a degree in finance is one of the biggest steps to becoming an asset manager. This is because working in finance requires many complicated skills that a degree helps you develop. It also shows employers that you take your career seriously and have an in-depth understanding of how finance works.

What is the career path of an asset management specialist? ›

The ideal career path for asset management starts at the research associate level where you are spending the majority of your time poring over financial data and calculating asset prices. You should try to look at a broad variety of asset classes developing an overall understanding of how these assets are priced.

How much does an asset management CEO make? ›

CEOs of asset management firms took home an average of $13.5m in summary compensation for 2023, marginally more than the $13.1m the year prior.

What company is the largest asset manager? ›

BlackRock, Inc. is an American multinational investment company. It is the world's largest asset manager, with $10 trillion in assets under management as of December 31, 2023. Headquartered in New York City, BlackRock has 78 offices in 38 countries, and clients in 100 countries.

How many hours do asset managers work? ›

Asset managers can work up to 50 hours a week, while investment bankers are likely to work from 60 to 70 hours a week. Investment bankers and asset managers sometimes work weekends, depending on their workloads.

What is the asset management hierarchy? ›

An asset hierarchy is a logical index of all your maintenance equipment, machines, and components, and how they work together. Building and understanding your facility's asset hierarchy is critical to efficiently tracking, scheduling, and identifying the root causes of failure in your equipment.

What pays more asset management or wealth management? ›

It is generally understood that Asset Managers and Wealth Managers earn more or less the same amount of money: in any given bank, an Asset Manager will charge the same amount as their counterparts in Wealth Management.

How much does an associate in asset management make? ›

Asset Management Associate Salaries in United Kingdom

The average salary for Asset Management Associate is £100,388 per year in the United Kingdom. The average additional cash compensation for a Asset Management Associate in the United Kingdom is £19,507, with a range from £9,328 - £40,796.

How much do real estate asset managers make in NYC? ›

The average Real Estate Asset Manager salary in New York, NY is $150,128 as of April 24, 2024, but the salary range typically falls between $121,000 and $187,484.

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