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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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

At the Portfolio Manager level, earning potential is around $1.0 – $1.5 million per year.

Is asset management a good career path? ›

Investment banking and asset management offer lucrative career paths for ambitious, high-performing economics and finance students. Jumping into either of these fields often means making a lot of money right out of school.

How much money is in the asset management industry? ›

Report CoverageDetails
Base Year2022
Market Size in 2022$376.82 billion
Market Size in 2032$8280.73 billion
CAGR36.5 %
6 more rows
Aug 2, 2023

How much does an asset management analyst make at Goldman Sachs? ›

$83K (Median Total Pay)

The estimated total pay range for a Asset Management Analyst at Goldman Sachs is $69K–$101K per year, which includes base salary and additional pay. The average Asset Management Analyst base salary at Goldman Sachs is $74K per year.

Does Goldman Sachs asset management pay well? ›

The estimated total pay range for a Asset Management Analyst at Goldman Sachs is £54K–£69K per year, which includes base salary and additional pay.

What qualifications do you need for asset management? ›

ISO 55000 is the international standard for asset management. It is explicitly designed for people and organizations involved in asset management. The skills of professionals managing financial assets can be different. It would be best to have a degree in business or finance and then do an advanced MBA course.

What degree does an asset manager need? ›

Asset managers must usually have a bachelor's degree and more than 5-10 years of experience in another business or financial occupation, such as a commercial loan officer, accountant, auditor, securities sales agent, or financial analyst.

What is the asset management hierarchy? ›

An asset hierarchy is essential for maintenance teams to use because it's a way of organizing your assets so that you can identify and prioritize maintenance tasks, replacement parts, preventive maintenance, corrective maintenance, and other steps needed to keep an asset in good working condition.

Do asset managers make millions? ›

Among actively managed equity funds, only 6.5% of fund assets have fulcrum fees in place, which means performance-based compensation comes from elsewhere for mutual fund managers. The most comprehensive, recent study puts the most typical compensation at $2.04 million in 2024 dollars.

How do you break into asset management? ›

Get a degree in Finance: Gaining access to a great asset management career requires you to have two basic skills – the knowledge of accounting and financial management and the use of statistical models. Your daily job would be to look through the spread-sheets and dig in the earning reports.

What is the average age of asset managers? ›

The average age of asset managers is 40+ years years old, representing 68% of the asset manager population.

Who is the largest asset manager in the US? ›

Vanguard takes institutional lead over BlackRock

BlackRock remains the world's largest asset manager overall.

Who are the world's biggest asset managers? ›

Largest companies
RankFirm/companyAUM (billion USD)
2Vanguard Group7,600
3Fidelity Investments4,240
4State Street Global Advisors3,600
16 more rows

Where do asset managers get their money? ›

In this industry, it's typical for an asset manager to be compensated with a fixed fee based on a percentage of the assets under management. The standard fee for asset managers is 1% of whatever is being invested. Some asset management funds also make money through a performance fee, similar to a bonus.

Who 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.

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 BlackRock pay post MBA? ›

The average MBA Summer Associate base salary at BlackRock is $141K per year. The average additional pay is $23K per year, which could include cash bonus, stock, commission, profit sharing or tips.

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