By investment management we mean the professional management of various securities (shares, bonds etc), assets (e.g. real estate) to meet specified investment goals for the benefit of investors. Sometimes investment management is used interchangeably with asset management. However, asset management is often used to refer to the management of collective investments.

In order to facilitate investments, a variety of investment funds may be set up in different jurisdictions and invest in different types of assets. Through investment funds investors gain exposure to a spread of investments selected according to a particular investment policy which is supervised and implemented by a fund manager.

Investors may be institutions (insurance companies, pension funds, corporations etc) or private investors (both directly via investment contracts and more commonly collective investment schemes).