The professional body for whole life management of physical assets

IAM: The Institute of Asset Management
May 2017

I am quite excited about the issue of a short TC251 guidance article, “Managing Assets in the context of Asset Management”.  Some of you will recognise my preoccupation with language and terminology, whereby we can so easily miss the point or confuse each other with ambiguous terms.

I am reminded of the quotation (attributed to Frank Zappa, but probably erroneously!), “Writing about music is like describing architecture by dancing”.  I agree that this is a more extreme and pointless exercise but unless you can communicate your point, the effort is possibly wasted.

I believe that asset management is, essentially, a human activity.  The right management system (process more than IT) is a good foundation but the judgment of the right balance between performance, risk and cost is just that: judgment.  This, of course, relates to the derived value and that is a human desire.

PLEASE read this article!

If there is one severe threat to the wide-ranging understanding and adoption of asset management philosophy, it is that many people do not even try to address the concept; believing (wrongly) that it doesn’t apply to them.  This is because they think it’s all about the assets and especially maintenance.  Some delegate and look down on maintenance because they don’t understand that it is best considered as investment, too!  (Personal opinion) Some of them simply confuse the two terms as synonymous.  We MUST promote the true meaning of asset management.

Managing Assets is NOT an alternative to Asset Management.  It’s just that doing all the lifecycle activities without a ruling integrated purpose cannot be considered worthwhile.

This applies to other language issues too (and I don’t mean English, French, Spanish and so forth – another layer of understanding to address!).  I believe that engineers (like me) are bad at communicating in the language of business: money!  But this should not excuse business managers from understanding risk and other technical matters.  The truth is that asset management needs to be the common language for many other professions and disciplines.

We believe that Asset Management Professionals should be able to talk these languages as required.  We shall be talking a lot more about our plans to recognise such capability and to register these Professionals.  Come to our Annual Conference to hear all about our plans!


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Raconteur special report – The Times

Produced in association with the IAM, the Asset Management special report was published in The Times on 17 May. We have been informed that commercial partners and industry experts have reached out to Raconteur to compliment the content and design!

As promised, the report is available to download via the website.

Download the report here

FREE IAM Qualification exam at the Conference!

All attendees can sit an exam at the Annual Conference for the opportunity to obtain an IAM Qualification, for free.

Tablets will be provided, so all you need to do is turn up!  Register for an exam place by contacting

Not yet booked your place at the Conference? Book before 2 June to avoid the Late Booking Fee!

Book your place

Download our IAM Annual Conference App to have all the information you need in an instant.

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IAM Asset Management Conference

The Asset Management Conference will take place 21-22 November at the Park Plaza Riverbank in London - booking available soon. (Please note: this has changed from the previously published date of 1-2 November.)

Call for Papers - Deadline for abstract submissions is 1 July. As our unique Call for Papers event of the year, don’t miss the exciting opportunity to submit a paper to be considered for presentation at the Conference!

Submit Abstract

IAM Awards - 5 June deadline is approaching. Last chance to submit your nominations! The Awards presentations take place during the Annual Dinner on the first evening of the Asset Management Conference in November.

Submit Nomination

Membership Survey

The annual membership survey is currently open. You will have seen the invitation to participate via email. It is optional but your thoughts and feedback about the Institute are really important to us and for future developments.

Please ensure you complete your responses by Tuesday 30th May.

A digest of the results will be presented at the AGM.

Annual General Meeting

Don’t forget that our AGM takes place just before the Conference Dinner on Day 2 of the Annual Conference.  You are entitled to attend even if you are not attending the Conference.

See full details on the website

Dates for your Diary

The IAM Annual Conference 2017
26-28 June 2017
Hilton Deansgate, Manchester, UK

The IAM Asset Management Conference
21-22 November 2017
Park Plaza Riverbank, London, UK

and finally...

I have mentioned some outcomes from the ISO/TC251 Committee and I’d like to encourage you to visit, if you haven’t yet had a look.  There are a number of new items to read and download.

We are scoping a review of our membership arrangements to ensure that we offer appropriate value at all stages of the Individual Journey but also that we have checked what you really want.  There will be research and focus groups – please participate if invited – but if anyone is anxious to have a say, please contact us to be included.

We find increasingly that organisations do not give employees much encouragement or time to volunteer for IAM work, despite evidence of the benefit to both employees and employers.  We are considering what to do about this and all ideas are welcome.  Whether you are an employee interested in contributing to the knowledge base of the IAM or an employer concerned about costs and effectiveness, we are eager to hear from you.

I would love to have a personal conversation at Manchester if you can spare the time, please come and say hello.  There are many better reasons to be at the flagship networking event of the year, of course!


David McKeown, CEO

Index to Contents
Raconteur special report – The Times
FREE IAM Qualification exam at the Conference!
IAM Asset Management Conference
Membership Survey
Annual General Meeting
Dates for your Diary
and finally...

Last chance to secure your place before Late Fees!

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'The Institute of Asset Management Ltd' is registered in England No. 5056259. Registered Office: Woodlands Grange, Woodlands Lane, Bradley Stoke, Bristol, BS32 4JY
'IAM Trading Ltd' is registered in England No. 4990747 and is wholly owned by The Institute of Asset Management Ltd. See our website for more information.

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