DEFINITION OF ‘ASSET SPECIALIST’
A professional who is responsible for the management and disposition of assets of a financial institution. Asset specialists are used when a financial institution is under government conservatorship, and they also work with other financial institutions that are marketing and selling assets.
INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS ‘ASSET SPECIALIST’
When a bank or other financial institution is placed into conservatorship, regulators appoint a managing agent who takes over the duties of the bank’s board of directors. During this time, many of the bank’s employees may retain their positions, though the managing agent is in charge of operations. The managing agent is placed in charge of one or more asset specialists, who are tasked with the collection of information relating to the bank’s assets. Asset specialists are employees of the regulatory body that has taken over the failed bank.
Understanding the bank’s assets is vital under conservatorship, as the goal of the regulatory body is to dispose of the assets as quickly while recovering as much of the value of the assets through sales as possible. Regulators want failed banks to be liquidated quickly so as to maintain depositor confidence, keep the financial system operating properly, and protect the overall economy from after-shocks caused by bank failures. Asset specialists served in an investigatory capacity, piecing together the puzzle a failed bank left behind in terms of how much it has loaned out, who took on those loans, and when those loans are due.
During the savings and loan failures of the 1980s and early 1990s, asset specialists provided oversight of the asset managers hired by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC). Private sector contractors served as the asset managers, and were charged with portfolios of assets that they needed to sell off. Asset specialists helped determine the value of the portfolio assets, and monitored the percentage of asset values that were recovered.