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2016 - The year of the asset manager

With a surprise vote to leave the EU from the Brexit Referendum, we find ourselves in uncharted waters. The market reacted to the Referendum both pre and post 23rd June so the question we are getting asked a lot is what the effect of this has been on the property recruitment market? The short answer to this is that it is a great time to be working in asset management.

The looming Brexit vote meant that 2016 has been a quiet year for investment. With the uncertainly and consequent perception of instability, many investors have decided to ‘sit on their hands’ and wait to see how events pan out. Little demand in the market in turn affected investor’s choices to place assets on the market for sale, which meant that even where there was appetite from more opportunistic investors to buy, the stock levels available for acquisition were low.

Since Brexit we have seen an improvement in the willingness to invest, owing largely to key factors such as more certainty (we are now leaving the EU) and a weak pound. However, the majority of client-side outfits are focused on the need for strong asset management to produce the results they forecasted when purchasing assets. This year was always going to have an asset management focus due to such high investment activity last year.

Therefore, it is hard to say whether the investment market of 2016 is purely down to Brexit or whether there would have been some market correction this year anyway. Many industry experts are arguing that the levels of investment and pricing of 2015 was unsustainable. There are now a lot of assets needing active and effective asset management. This is further emphasised by the fact that if you are investing less, the pressure to make money from your existing stock is exacerbated.

So who is recruiting for asset managers?
Simply put; most companies. Whether it is the more institutional outfits seeking long income focused asset managers or an opportunistic private equity house or property company, the demand is there. Strong asset managers can take the pick of the bunch and often gain sizable increases to their package.

For the first time, we are finding that unlike the candidate led times gone by where clients were forced to compromise on their requirements from potential employees, employers now often remain absolute in their requirements before offering an asset management position. This is a trend which has continued out of the post-recession recruitment market. This might seem unrealistic and uncommercial to some but the reasoning behind this seems to go back to how much focus and necessity there is for strong asset management in the current market. It is essential that the right hires are made, however big the demand.

What can you do to enhance your prospects of securing your ideal new asset management position?
There is nothing revolutionary in the answer to this question. Do the basics of properly presenting yourself to future employers and execute well. Do not assume that perspective employers will know the company you work at, the assets you manage and what your role is likely to be. Provide a brief summary of the company you are currently employed by, detail your role responsibilities, list the assets that you look after and provide case studies/examples of asset management initiatives that you have worked on. If you are looking for an asset management role but are not currently working in this area that this is even more important.

Make sure you draw parallels to your current role and the one you are applying for and highlight where the transferable skillset and knowledge is. The importance of a strong CV can never be underestimated. In a market where clients have such detailed asset management plans and strategies in place, it is important that they can see from your CV where the relevance is for their role.

More information is almost always better than too little on a CV but make it targeted to the role you are applying for. Once you have secured an interview, prepare, prepare, prepare. Review the job description. Each asset management role is different. Review the company website - what is their strategy? What have they brought? Review your CV beforehand- there is nothing worse than not being able to remember details of a case study or example that you have listed on your CV.

Finally, speak to your recruitment consultant to find out what the hiring manager is like. What is their asset strategy? Is there anything about your CV they are likely to ask questions on? A strong CV gets you to 1st stage interviews. Interview preparation gets you through the process stages. There are a lot of asset management roles currently but there are also a lot of other professionals seeking them. Put in the effort to differentiate yourself from the rest.

If you are looking to move into asset management and would like a confidential conversation with a member of the Commercial Real Estate team, please call on 0207 478 2500.

Our team, largely made up of qualified surveyors, has a strong track record across the board within asset management and will be best placed to successfully advice you through your job search.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 7th 2016 and is filed under Property & Real Estate. You can subscribe to our RSS 2.0 news feed here.