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In the investment world, asset management refers to active management of an investor’s portfolio by a financial services company – usually an investment bank. The investors who merit asset management services are usually high net-worth individuals, governments, corporations and other institutions that have large investment portfolios.  The asset management services they receive include trading in traditional and alternative securities offerings, and first access to public offerings.  These services are not typically provided to average investors. 

High net-worth individuals usually keep all their cash and securities in accounts at one financial institution.  The accounts are grouped together in what is called an asset management account.  These types of accounts were created pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1997.  An asset management account allows for easier transfer of funds to between a brokerage account and checking, savings and money market accounts; and allows investors to easily see how their various investments are being managed.

Outside of investing, asset management refers to administering and maintaining things of value, both tangible and intangible.  Examples of tangible assets that need asset management are buildings, delivery fleets or a railroad’s stock of boxcars.  Intangible assets that require asset management are mostly portfolios of marketable securities, but can also be the copyrights inherent in a music catalog. 

 

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