Asset managers evidently are optimistic about renewed growth in assets under management, with 47% saying they plan to expand their full-time product management staff over the next 12 months, FUSE Research Network found in surveys conducted over the past two months. However, since 80% said they laid off staff over the past year, employment levels are not likely to return to pre-crisis levels anytime soon.

Another 7% plan to add freelance contractors, and 13% said they might lay off additional staff in 2010.

“Clearly, most firms have completed their business rationalization and are now strategically adding to staff,” said Michael Evans, president of FUSE Research. “We believe product management is an underserved function at asset managers. Many firms recognize this and are adding incremental resources to staff.”

Evans noted how critical it is to have robust product management teams as the economy begins to recover and investors once again become enthusiastic about the markets and fund offerings, saying, “Understaffing the product function at an asset manager will compromise the group’s ability to effectively do their job” and create innovative offerings.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.