Priyani de Silva-Currie, IPWEA NZ President and Asset Advisory Principal at Beca, shares her light-hearted thinking about the roles of asset managers.

We often inside joke that ours is a most mysterious and gallant career, not for the faint hearted, a little risky, we are often compelling story tellers, bringers of imagined futures and seekers of blue sky visions. Cloaked guardians touched with a sprinkling of wisdom and chalked up real life experiences, balanced and pragmatic individuals with strong foundations in technical knowledge.

What we struggle with everyday is defining for those who ask, what it is we really do, this great calling to be an asset manager, aka Guardian of the Galaxy.

A commonly asked question to me and my ilk from non asset managers is what do you actually do?

A commonly asked question to me and my ilk from non asset managers is what do you actually do? My answers vary as we work in so many related fields, and at many levels but here are a few of my favourite responses.

“I help you invest wisely in your assets and look after them for their lifetime, in the most economical and sustainable way.”

“I connect the dots between your organisation’s strategy and policy and match these to the services that you have agreed to deliver to your customers.”  

“I stitch together all the aspirations and obligations you have and tie them to your assets and services.” 

“My works gives you peace of mind and ensures your assets are working as hard as they can to meet your goals.”

So you’re not an engineer?

“Well sometimes we are, we are also strategic visionaries, master planners, economists, psychologists, architects, enviromentalists, accountants, Guardians of our physical and natural world, and superheroes. We examine and review every aspect of your business with multiple lenses to ensure your assets and services perform to an optimal level and ultimately provide the desired level of service to your community or customers now and into the future (to infinity and beyond).”

How can asset managers help my business right now?

“We can sit with you and discuss how your assets are performing for you right now.  Our experienced eyes know if your service requirements match or don’t match your asset base.  We will examine your organisational risks and opportunities, advise you of the true costs and resources to deliver your services and programmes into the future.  We can seek out and rectify the gaps in your systems, processes and data. We analyse information so you have the right knowledge to make good strategic,  investment and operational decisions at the right time. Best of all we can help you tell the compelling story to your decision makers, when making a significant investment or case, adding our wisdom, and providing the crucially important “why”. 

Generally being a Guardian of the Galaxy.