Asset management companies take investor capital and put it to work in different investments, including stocks, bonds, real estate, master limited partnerships, and private equity. These companies handle investments according to an internally-formulated investment mandate, or process. Many asset management companies offer their services to wealthy businesses and individuals because it can be difficult to offer services to smaller investors at an appropriate price.
Wealthy investors typically have private accounts with asset management firms. They deposit cash into the account, in some cases with a third-party custodian, and the portfolio managers take care of the portfolio using a limited power of attorney.
How Asset Management Firms Operate
Asset managers work with client portfolios by considering several variables, including the client's unique circumstances, risks, and preferences. Portfolio managers select positions customized for the client's income needs, tax circumstances, and liquidity expectations. They can even base decisions on the client's moral and ethical values as well as personality.
High-end firms may cater to a client's every whim, offering a bespoke experience. It's not unusual for the relationship between investor and asset management firm to span generations as managed assets are transferred to heirs.