Asset management refers to systematic approach to the governance and realization of value from the things that a group or entity is responsible for, over their whole life cycles. It may apply both to tangible assets (physical objects such as buildings or equipment) and to intangible assets (such as human capital, intellectual property, goodwill and/or financial assets). Asset management is a systematic process of developing, operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets in the most cost-effective manner (including all costs, risks and performance attributes).
The term is commonly used in the financial sector to describe people and companies who manage investments on behalf of others. Those include, for example, investment managers that manage the assets of a pension fund.
It is also increasingly used in both the business world and public infrastructure sectors to ensure a coordinated approach to the optimization of costs, risks, service/performance and sustainability.
The International Standard, ISO 55000, provides an introduction and requirements specification for a management system for asset management.