For the investor who wants to make money in the financial market, but doesn’t have the time or desire to continuously manage a portfolio, there are a variety of asset management services available. One of the professions in the field of such services is that of investment fund manager. An investment fund manager assists clients in investing their money in stocks, bonds, and other assets. Investment management is a very large global industry, responsible for the care and investment of many trillions of U.S. Dollars (USD), as well as investments in many other currencies.
An investment fund manager can be an individual or a firm, whose work tends to fall into two distinct categories. The first category consists of those who offer direct financial advice to individuals and businesses. These investment advisers are often employed through banks and other financial institutions to perform services such as financial planning for clients of the institution. The second type of investment fund manager consists of those who offer asset management services for clients such as corporations, hedge funds, insurance companies and pension funds. Investment fund managers who work for these types of clients are typically responsible for very large sums of money.
In the U.S., there is a complex process of registration involved in becoming an investment fund manager, sometimes involving registration with state and federal government authorities, examination requirements, and other important steps. Whether or not an investment fund manager must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for example, will depend on the amount of assets under management (AUM) at the firm. In order for a firm to be able to register with the SEC, the firm must have at least $25 million USD of AUM, and if it has at least $30 million USD of AUM, it is required to register. If the firm has less than $25 million of AUM and doesn’t anticipate that that will change in the next 120 days, then it is required to register with the state, rather than the federal government.
In light of the large sums of money which fund managers control, they owe their clients, under U.S. law, an ongoing fiduciary duty. This means that an investment fund manager will be open and honest with his client, providing full disclosure of all fees and possible conflicts of interest. The fund manager, in complying with his duty, is committed to select investments with only his clients’ best interests in mind.