Asset management is the production and management of investment solutions in the form of collective investment schemes or individual, institutional mandates.
In the best interest of the client
Asset managers invest on behalf and in the best interest of their clients. They conduct research on economic developments, financial markets, industries and companies to find attractive investment opportunities. Furthermore, they define an investment strategy and an asset allocation that is suitable to the client. They select financial instruments such as stocks and bonds that are listed on international exchanges, or they invest in unlisted assets such as private companies or real estate. As investing means taking risk with the aim of getting a return, a key function performed by asset managers is managing these risks.
Focus on institutional clients and investment funds
Asset managers provide their products and services primarily to institutional clients such as pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds and corporations. Furthermore, they manage assets that are pooled in collective investment schemes, notably investment funds. In contrast to asset managers, wealth managers and private banks primarily focus on serving private clients with regards to their financial needs.
Swiss asset managers
While independent asset managers play a dominant role internationally - BlackRock being the world’s largest asset manager with more than 7’000 Billion CHF assets under management - the largest Swiss asset managers are traditionally bank-owned or insurance-owned. However, independent Swiss asset managers are also getting more attention by the public recently.