Portfolio Manager

Portfolio Manager

Portfolio Managers structure and manage collections of investments (portfolios) to maximize returns while minimizing risks of loss. Each portfolio will have its own particular investment strategy to be followed, and might consist of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, derivative products and/or other investments.

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Demand is stable, but Portfolio Managers are often trained from within.

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*
Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills
*
Desktop area Work Environment

Office, some travel possible; long working hours to shadow global markets

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Demand is stable, but Portfolio Managers are often trained from within.

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*
Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills *
Desktop area Work Environment

Office, some travel possible; long working hours to shadow global markets


WHAT IT IS

Key Role Dimensions

Managing investment portfolios for a specific set of clients: Manage the portfolios of single investors, pools of investors (e.g. mutual funds, pension funds) or institutions (e.g. insurance companies).

Developing the right mix of investments to maximize investors’ gains: Consider an investor’s risk tolerance, the risk and return potential of the investments and the investor’s short- and long-term goals.

May work alongside a team of Analysts and researchers: Research on individual companies, investments and market trends is key to making decisions for clients’ portfolios.

Focus Areas

Portfolio Managers deal with different types of products depending on the type of financial institution they work for:

  • Bank: May manage private individual investor portfolios or the bank’s own mutual funds, or work with institutions to manage their investment portfolios.
  • Insurance Company: Manage the insurance company’s own investment portfolio: Invest premium revenues to increase firm profitability and ensure liquidity to meet future insurance policy claims.
  • Investment & Wealth Management Firm: Manage mutual funds for a mutual fund firm, or handle the investment portfolios of individuals and corporate/institutional investors for a wealth management firm.
  • Pension: Manage the portfolio of pension assets on behalf of pension plan members.

WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED

Key Job Accountabilities

Portfolio Managers generally:

Build and maintain portfolios following agreed investment strategies:

  • Develop investment policies and strategies for the portfolio (e.g. target asset mix) based on client/investor needs, return expectations, investment objectives and market and economic conditions.
  • Direct portfolio investment and trading activity (i.e. sales and/or purchases of securities/investments) and/or consolidate assets on a daily basis.

Evaluate portfolio performance against strategy and regulatory requirements:

  • Measure and evaluate portfolio performance (e.g. asset growth and expenses) to ensure net income targets are met.
  • Evaluate the mix of assets within the portfolio to ensure it meets the risk tolerance levels determined by the portfolio strategy.
  • Assess portfolios to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, firm policies and portfolio investment strategies.

Engage in relationship management:

  • Maintain regular contact with clients to understand their needs and long-term objectives and inform them of changes in their portfolio and/or relevant market trends.
  • Attract new business through networking, referrals and sales presentations.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

Must-haves:

  • Customer Focus: Consistently deliver high-quality service
  • Research/Analysis & Reporting: Strong research, mathematical and quantitative analysis skills to analyze market and financial data and make projections
  • Data Interpretation, Sense-making & Communication: Ability to synthesize complex data from multiple sources and create clear, informative reports
  • Relationship Management Skills: Build trust with clients and develop strong networks of expertise
  • Knowledge of financial products (e.g. bonds, equities, mortgage-backed securities)
  • Knowledge of investment theory and portfolio/sales management

 Nice-to-haves:

  • Previous experience in sales (particularly in financial services and equity sales)
  • Previous experience in insurance
  • For higher-value portfolios, knowledge of specialized investments (e.g. derivative and commodity products) and more complex markets

Education & Credentials

Entry-level positions typically require:

  • Undergraduate university degree

In the fields of:

  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Mathematics/Statistics/Quantitative Methods

 Senior positions may require:

  • Graduate degree

In the fields of:

  • Business Administration
  • Mathematics
  • Economics

Employers in different segments may require candidates to possess one or more of these designations:

Professional associations may include:

  • CFA Institute
  • Corporate Portfolio Management Association (CPMA)

Programs Offered


WHERE IT CAN TAKE YOU

Career Pathways

There are a number of pathways open to Portfolio Managers through:

  • Greater Accountability: You may take on larger and/or more complex portfolios with greater value at risk. Managing portfolios with great complexity requires continuous learning and different certifications, and often leads to higher income.
  • Increased Seniority: You could become a Senior Portfolio Manager and eventually a Director, or other executive position.

Future Trends & Impacts

There are several external factors and environmental trends that can influence the demand and qualifications for this role:

  • Regulation:Portfolio Management is a complex, regulated activity, and Portfolio Managers must always remain current with relevant regulatory policies.
  • Complexity:The ongoing diversification and increasing complexity of investment products will require deeper specialization and technical knowledge.
  • Technology:The increasing rate at which information/data is generated, analyzed and summarized means Portfolio Managers will need to continue to evolve their strategies for managing and working with vast amounts of data.


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