Over the past few years, we have increasingly heard about asset management and its vital role in the economy. Asset management is the practice of increasing clients’ wealth through the acquisition, maintenance, and disposal of investments. Asset management performs a crucial function in the lives of citizens and businesses, channelling savings towards investments. An asset manager’s core mission is to invest clients’ capital into productive economic activity, allowing companies to develop by providing access to new funding sources. This, in turn, enables them to create employment and better serve their customers and employees. The proceeds from financing these companies are then returned to investors, allowing them to meet their financial goals.
Asset management is an essential economic value-creating mechanism when employed on a large scale. The dimensional aspect from the latest industry data confirms this, showing how this sector, despite the infra-annual volatility and periods of financial strain, is in constant expansion and an industry that investors trust.
The asset management industry took on a different connotation in Europe, though with significant repercussions worldwide, when the European Union decided to regulate the sector by creating a harmonised regulatory framework for investment fund management. The landscape in which asset management operates has changed radically under the impetus of the continuous evolution of Community legislation, hinged on two pillars. First, in 1985, with the introduction of the Directive on Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and, later in 2011, with the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).
The book is characterised by the richness of its content and breadth of analysis and considerations, making an important contribution to the development of asset management in Europe by providing a comprehensive overview.