Asset Management


The Asset Management industry has more than tripled in the current century despite the several financial crises, reaching currently 80 trillion dollars of assets under management worldwide.
Understanding this industry is critical for any finance professional, since it plays a critical role in the setting of financial assets’ prices, in particular the risk free rates, cost of capital and multiples.
At the same time, Responsible Investing is becoming the norm in the industry, whereby investment managers and asset owners are increasingly incorporating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors in their investment process, under initiatives such as the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (
The purpose of the Asset Management course is to provide students with a fundamental understanding of asset management, focusing on an institutional approach to Portfolio Management, as well on the strategic management of asset management organizations.
Furthermore, the growing market and resulting competition in the wake of sustainable investing going mainstream has the welcome effect to compress fees for such products. Hence, staying informed about recent trends in sustainable investing is imperative.
This will be done from a practitioner’s point of view:

-    Analysis of the annual reports of prominent investors such as Berkshire Hathaway, the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund or Yale’s Endowment (see “Miscellaneous Information” below);
-    Case study discussions on institutions such as the Harvard Management Company (Harvard Endowment) or Dimensional Fund Advisors’s entry in the retirement market;
-    Professionals from the asset management industry will be invited to lecture or participate in class discussions, including the CEO from one of the largest Portuguese asset managers.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Martijn Boons


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language




Asset Management – A Systematic Approach to Factor Investing by Andrew Ang, 1st edition 2014.

Investments, 9th edition by Bodie, Kane and Marcus, McGraw-Hill Irwin.


Active Portfolio Management, 2nd Edition by Grinold and Kahn, McGraw-Hill Financial.

Markets and Corporate Strategy, 2nd Edition by Grinblatt and Titman, McGraw-Hill.

Investment Management by Bernstein and Damodaran, Wiley.

The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, arranged by Lawrence Cunningham.


Class Handouts. Exercises and other material will be provided ahead of the classes.

Teaching method

The course is partly based in tutorial, that outline the concepts, which are discussed in terms of conceptual and practical application in asset management. A high degree of case study method is applied. Grade will be a weighted average of a written Exam, group work and individual deliverables and participation.

There will be several case assignments for the Asset Management Course (see Resources below). Group written analysis of each case might be required, and class presentations and discussions will be a relevant of the individual and group grading.

The final Exam will cover lectures, readings, cases and reports discussed, or other materials discussed in classes.

Evaluation method

    Total    Individual    Group
Exam (with a minimum grade of 9/20)    40%    40%    -
Case Study Deliverables and discussion    40%    15%    25%
Class Participation and Individual Deliverables/quizzes*    20%    20%    -
Total    100%    75%    25%

Subject matter

•    Investment policy and process, strategies, performance evaluation and incentives;

•    Asset Allocation, Diversification and Implementation issues

•    Strategic Management of Asset Management Companies

•    Responsible Investing in the Asset Management industry