What is an investment fund manager?

For the investor who wants to make money in the financial markets but doesn't have the time or desire to continually manage a portfolio, there are a variety of asset management services available. One of the professions in the field of such services is the investment fund manager. A mutual fund manager helps clients invest 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 US Dollars (USD) as well as investments in many other currencies.

A mutual fund manager can be an individual or a company, whose job tends to fall into two distinct categories. The first category comprises those who offer direct financial advice to individuals and corporations. These investment advisors are often hired by banks and other financial institutions to perform services such as financial planning for the institution's clients. The second type of mutual fund managers are those that offer asset management services to clients such as corporations, hedge funds, insurance companies and pension funds. Mutual fund managers who work for these types of clients are often responsible for large sums of money.

In the United States, there is a complex registration process to become a mutual fund manager, sometimes involving registration with state and federal government authorities, exam requirements, and other important steps. Whether or not a mutual fund manager should register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for example, will depend on the amount of assets under management (AUM) in the company. In order for a company to register with the SEC, the company must have at least $25 million of AUM, and if it has at least $30 million of AUM, it must register. If the company has less than $25 million in AUM and does not anticipate this change within the next 120 days, it will need to register with the state, not the federal government.

In light of the large sums of money that fund managers control, they owe their clients, under US law, an ongoing fiduciary duty. This means that a mutual fund manager will be open and honest with their client, providing full disclosure of all fees and potential conflicts of interest. The fund manager, in the fulfillment of its duty, undertakes to select investments with only the best interests of its clients in mind.

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