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I am proud to present our corporate responsibility report 2015. Robeco Group is a pioneer in sustainability investing. We believe and demonstrate that good corporate governance and social responsibility enhance the long-term risk-return profiles of our investment portfolios. At Robeco Group we are convinced that integrated sustainability leads to better-informed investment decisions and we see sustainability as a general enabler of superior risk-return profiles.

In our corporate responsibility report we are guided by the principle of materiality. The report focuses on those Robeco Group activities that impact the world around us, our clients and other stakeholders in terms of the environmental, social and governance aspects involved. For the Group, these are – clearly – our results and performance in the field of integrating sustainability in our investment. After all, investing is what we do, it’s what we are and what matters most. And so this is what we particularly wish to be assessed on. In 2015, we made further steady progress in the field of sustainability investing. Moreover, we are accountable for our way of continuing to apply a client-centered approach in 2015. All our strategies have our clients' best interest at heart. Investment teams work closely together and share knowledge and ideas, so that they are fully equipped to meet our clients' need. This can only succeed with the right people on your staff to put the ambition into practice. The report therefore focuses also on our HRM policy. There is no end to social responsibility. Our ambition is to improve our performance year on year, in the best interest of our clients.

Chair of the Management Board of Robeco GroupLeni Boeren

1.2 Ambitions and results at a glance

  • Ongoing dialogue and communication with clients and subsequent learning and actions to continue to build long-term partnerships

  • Increase our insight into client satisfaction within Robeco Group

  • Continuously strive for operational excellence in the interest of our clients
Sustainability Investing
  • Promote implementation of sustainability investing to clients

  • Increase the assets in which ESG criteria are incorporated

  • Improve corporate behavior and the risk/return profile of investments

  • Increase the assets under voting

  • Increase the assets under engagement
  • Continuous optimization of the effectiveness of our
  • Operate in a model where accountability and a balance of power can be demonstrated
  • Hire, grow and retain diverse talents
  • Invest in the personal and professional development of our employees
  • Support and promote the health and vitality of our employees
  • Score higher than the benchmark on employee engagement
  • Conscious in our use of resources
  • Provide funds and time to employees and initiatives throughout our company for meaningful, diversified and local commitments to programs that benefit society

1.3 About this report
This report shows the progress made in the field of corporate responsibility in 2015. The report’s publication date is 7 June 2016. Where possible, Robeco Group has included and aggregated all majority subsidiaries and assets under management in this report:
  • Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (‘Robeco’; Rotterdam, the Netherlands). This is Robeco Group’s asset-management company covering Europe and Asia. Robeco is also manager and director of all Robeco’s Dutch-based investment funds as well as the direct distribution channel for Robeco funds.
  • Boston Partners (formerly named Robeco Investment Management). Boston Partners is the US asset-management arm of Robeco Group, offering equity and alternative investments to institutional clients and high-net-worth individuals. BP’s platform is comprised of three divisions: Boston Partners, Weiss Peck & Greer and Redwood.
  • RobecoSAM. Swiss-based leading asset manager in the field of sustainability investing. RobecoSAM is renowned for developing and licensing the Dow Jones Sustainability index group, a joint initiative with S&P Dow Jones Indices. The firm’s offering comprises asset management, indices and clean-tech private equity.
  • Transtrend. Rotterdam-based research-driven and system-based managed-futures trader, with track record going back to 1992.
  • Harbor Capital Advisors (HCA). Based in Chicago, HCA offers a family of mutual funds by selecting and monitoring best-of-breed external managers. It provides management services to Harbor Funds, a mutual-fund complex, and to institutional segregated accounts.
  • Corestone. Swiss-based independently operating investment manager. Corestone manages multi-discipline open-architecture portfolios for institutional investors.

Where applicable, the report provides more detailed information on the scope of the policy pursued and the data presented (e.g., divergent approaches in local market practices and different divisions, and the resulting data variances). In our reporting process we focus on those elements of corporate responsibility that Robeco Group determines as having greatest materiality: client centricity, sustainability investing and human resources. To gather the required information, we disseminate annual questionnaires within the organization. Wherever possible, the input obtained is checked and validated against the existing data. Our ambition for each reporting year is to upgrade further and enhance the quality of the internal data simultaneously with this report.

1.4 Robeco Group in a nutshell
Robeco Group, a global asset manager, offers a mix of investment solutions and products in a broad range of strategies to institutional and private investors worldwide. Robeco Group’s head office is located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and the company has 1,266 FTE’s in 15 countries (end of 2015). The company has a strong presence in the US, Europe and Asia and a developing presence in key emerging markets such as India and Latin America. Robeco Group was founded in 1929 in the Netherlands as ‘Rotterdamsch Beleggings Consortium’. Today, the company is the center of asset-management expertise for ORIX Corporation, Robeco Groups’s majority (90.01%) shareholder based in Tokyo, Japan. The remaining shares are owned by Rabobank.

1.5 Financial results
In 2015, Robeco Group’s total assets under management increased by EUR 22.1 billion (+9%) to EUR 268.1 billion, of which 47% were institutional. For the seventh consecutive year, assets under management have grown to reach a record high. This increase in assets under management was driven by a strong positive investment result, which provided our clients with attractive returns, and was supported by a positive net cash inflow. The investment result of EUR 18.6 billion was positively affected by a EUR 17.3 billion gain caused by US dollar appreciation. The net cash inflow amounted to EUR 4.0 billion (2014: EUR 6.2 billion). In geographical terms, flows differed for different markets. On a net basis, bond funds experienced outflows, while equity funds posted net inflows, more especially in US equity and quantitative strategies. In 2015, the Group generated net profits of EUR 237 million – a record high and an improvement of 4% compared to the previous year. This increased result was due to a rise in recurring management fees, caused by the positive investment result during the first half of the year. The operating result over the year ended at EUR 360 million, an improvement of EUR 30 million. At group level, 74%* (2014: 79%) of the portfolios outperformed the relevant benchmarks over a three-year period. For 2015, this figure was 67% (2014: 52%).

* Returns are gross of fees (alternatives net of fees)

1.6 Robeco Group Strategy 2014-2018
In March 2014, Robeco Group introduced its strategy for 2014-2018. This strategy is based on the growth ambitions of Robeco Group and its majority shareholder ORIX and builds on the foundations laid in the previous strategy period. In 2015, assets under management grew from EUR 246 billion at the start of the year to EUR 268 billion by the end of December.

2014-2018 Strategy: accelerate growth
The 2014-2018 strategy focuses on growth in three regions, the US, Europe and Asia. In these regions, Robeco Group and ORIX have a strong presence and foundations on which further expansion can be realized. Growth is expected to come from existing and new activities expanding from its current base. Robeco Group expects its assets under management to exceed EUR 300 billion in 2018 as a result of organic growth. However, during this four-year period Robeco Group and ORIX will also look for acquisition opportunities.

Foster growth in the US
Strong growth in Boston Partners is expected by focusing on its strength as a value equities manager. Boston Partners’ Value Equity capability has an excellent performance record and is expected to meet strong client demand in the strategy period. In addition to fostering growth at Harbor Capital Advisors, Robeco Group will also further strengthen the distribution of Robeco products in the US.

Invest in Asia
Robeco Group is also further developing its sales set-up and leveraging on the ORIX’ network in Japan. Our investment capabilities based in Asia will continue to focus on Asia Pacific Equities, but Robeco Group also has the ambition to expand into Asian fixed income. In November 2015, Robeco received approval from the regulators for a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) in China.

Scale up in Europe
Robeco will expand its European sales by adding further resources to existing sales offices. In 2015, Robeco opened an office in the UK focusing on key account management, consultant relations and the UK institutional market. At the end of December an Italian sales office was opened to further develop the Italian business and service existing clients. In Europe, Robeco expects to realize growth with its quant capabilities, pension solutions and sustainability integration. Robeco sees that client demand is shifting from products to solutions and believes that in the longer term it can provide suitable services to meet this demand and benefit from this change in the market.

1.6.1 Core values
Our core values embody the essence of Robeco Group and serve as a touchstone for our daily work. They enhance a clear shared identity that drives the behavior required for executing our strategy.

Our clients justify our existence. We consistently think and act in their best interest. In all we do, we ask ourselves what the added value is for our clients. We show a genuine interest in our clients and make an effort to understand their situation and goals. We deliver on our clients’ expectations and we set our sights on a long-term relationship. In the end, the results we achieve for our clients are the only measure of success.

The world is constantly changing, and every day poses new challenges for our clients and our organization. We meet these challenges with a broad and long-term view, an inquisitive mindset, an inclination to challenge the status quo, a strong commitment to thorough analysis and the will to take the lead.

We are convinced that companies with sustainable business practices are more successful. We seek sustainability in everything we do and we anticipate future developments. Our actions are based on a long-term view and a thorough approach, both to investing and client relations. We factor in the long-term impact of our actions. We carefully manage risks and we are conscious of the costs and the resources we use.

Robeco Group is an organization of specialists, each with their own unique expertise. We actively share our knowledge and work together to leverage the organization’s collective genius and skills in order to achieve the best possible results for our clients. We show each other respect, treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves and we think and act in the best interests of the Group as a whole.

1.7 Risks
The main risks currently known to Robeco Group are highlighted, but this overview does not include all the potential risks that may ultimately affect Robeco Group.

1.7.1 Operational risk
We define operational risk as the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems, or from external events. Robeco Group manages a large range of services and products for different client types in various regions in the world. This means it is an organization which is exposed to risks linked to operational errors and potentially high operational costs. In order to mitigate these risks and achieve excellence in its operations, Robeco Group continuously searches for possibilities to simplify processes and reduce complexity. The Robeco Group Control Framework also provides a continuous assessment of the effectiveness of controls to mitigate identified risks.

1.7.2 Regulatory risk
Furthermore the number of regulations and supervisory body policies in the asset-management industry has been increasing since the financial crisis. The quantity and impact of these are not the only challenges Robeco Group has to contend with. Dealing with the uncertainty resulting from new and not fully clarified regulations with often blurred timescales for implementation is also demanding. Hence, the risks stemming from the regulatory environment have increased. To manage these risks, Robeco Group is actively involved in the policy development process at an early stage, both directly and through representative associations, such as EFAMA in Europe and DUFAS in the Netherlands. Monitoring activities and impact analyses of planned regulations and policies are conducted at an early stage. Relevant departments initiate and/or monitor the subsequent implementation of new or revised laws and regulations.

1.7.3 Financial risk
Movements in financial markets impact Robeco Group both directly and indirectly. Direct impact on Robeco Group primarily stems from its balance-sheet positions. To reduce direct risk exposure, Robeco Group hedges and mitigates these risks where necessary, including the hedging of balance-sheet positions of major subsidiaries using foreign-exchange forwards. There can be an indirect impact on Robeco Group through changes in its AuM, and thus in the fee income generated. Robeco Group maintains a diversified portfolio of products and services to limit the impact of changes in specific markets (asset classes or countries/regions) on AuM and fees. Furthermore, Robeco Group policies prescribe the careful selection and monitoring of financial counterparties. To mitigate liquidity risk, cash positions are closely monitored by Group Finance. The financial risks in client portfolios (funds and mandates) are managed and controlled via Robeco Group’s financial risk-management policies.
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