It is a role that has been one of the most affected by the economic crisis and the demands put on Asset Managers are rapidly changing and increasing in today’s market.

Cobalt Recruitment recently created an Asset Management career guide and commissioned a survey with some key figures in the industry to gauge how they felt the role of Asset Manager had evolved and to offer some insight into the demands on the role in the current market. Those participating in the survey included managing directors, current asset managers, property executives and other partners and directors in the industry, all of whom have close working relationships with Asset Managers.

Highlighting Change

In the last 18 months, the majority of the businesses involved in the survey have seen an increase in the number of Asset Managers employed with them, and 70% of respondents felt that the role of the Asset Manager has changed. ‘Change’ was in fact one of the overriding themes that came through the survey responses, along with another key phrase – ‘strategy’. No longer is an Asset Manager expected to simply manage existing assets, they are now looked to for insight and direction on investment and potential new business. One respondent commented, “Asset Managers are challenged to think laterally and find new income streams.”

There were also many suggestions that the technical abilities of Asset Managers are being scrutinised more and more, with comments including one that suggested Asset Managers now need to have ‘Increased understanding of cash flows and valuation constructs,’ as well as another saying that there is simply a ‘Greater emphasis on the strategic.’

Advice for Asset Managers

When respondents were asked what advice they would give to someone looking to move into an Asset Management role, the survey responses included, ‘Get broad but relevant experience’, ‘Focus on delivery of value over the long term’, and ‘Understand how value is created.’

Responses to the question of what skills are most sought after when hiring an asset manager were perhaps the most insightful – the top five responses from the survey were:

• Personality
• Real estate knowledge and experience
• Financial expertise
• Good communication skills
• Negotiating skills

Cobalt Recruitment is dedicated to giving you the most up-to-date information and advice, whether you’re a real estate business looking to hire the best or a property professional or Asset Manager looking to further their career. See Cobalt Recruitment’s Asset Management career guide for more advice on pursuing a career as an Asset Manager.