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1.1 Presentation and definition

Portfolio management refers to the set of activities linked to the investment of funds in different types of assets in a portfolio (e.g. financial, real estate, land, art, etc.) in order to optimize the return on investment while mitigating the risks. The typical products offered by portfolio management firms are savings, life insurance and investment products (equity, bond, currency and commodity portfolios).

In this context, portfolio management is structured around 3 main activities:

  • The creation of a balance sheet for professional, economic or personal situations ;
  • The implementation of an investment project: risk aversion, objectives in terms of return, etc. ;
  • The management and investment of capital: according to predefined criteria of profitability, risk, transmission, financial flows, etc.

Asset management is mostly realized by large banking groups, mainly retail banks (CGD, Santander, BCP, etc.) or investment banks (Banco BIG, BankInter, Finantia, etc.), or insurance groups. Independent consulting firms, which were already present in the past, have recently experienced strong growth rates thanks to digital technologies, in particular thanks to the arrival of "Robo -advisors" on the market.

In Portugal, where growth rates have been substantial since the recovery from the debt crisis in 2011, the net wealth per family increased by 13.2% in average terms between 2013 and 2017. [Inquérito à Situação Financeira das Famílias] With Portuguese people accumulating more and more resources, there is space for the demand of asset managing services to grow.

The Portuguese market is characterized by a vast dominance of discretionary mandates in comparison with other European countries. [European Fund and Asset Management Association] This is because most financial services groups operate an asset management company, which manages the group’s assets generally in the way of discretionary mandates.

In this context, some of the main asset management companies in Portugal, that are not subsidiaries of any bank, are Atrium, Dunas Capital and Lynx Asset Managers. Those players are being forced to adapt to a growing demand for access to sustainable and responsible investments that would help to partially reshape the investment model.






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