By continuing on this site you have agreed to cookies being placed and accessed by this website. More information and adjusting cookie settings.

Robeco uses cookies to analyze your visit to this site, to share information via social media and to personalize the site and advertisements in line with your own preferences. By clicking on agree or by continuing on this site, you agree to the above. More information and adjusting cookie settings.


Robeco uses cookies to analyze your visit to this site, to share information via social media and to personalize the site and advertisements in line with your own preferences. By clicking on agree or by continuing on this site, you agree to the above. More information and adjusting cookie settings.


By continuing on this site you have agreed to cookies being placed and accessed by this website. More information and adjusting cookie settings.

Robeco 2009; record inflow of new money

19-04-2010 For clients, both returns and relative performance have been good to excellent; a very welcome, albeit not complete, rebound from the disastrous investment year 2008. Also the record inflow of new money (EUR 7.5 billion net) as well as the fact that clients dare to take risk again are clearly positive.

Strategy 2010-2014
For Robeco 2010 marks the start of the strategy for 2010 - 2014: “To offer institutional and retail clients in the Netherlands and in a limited number of countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the United States a compact, client-oriented and competitive range of responsible, actively managed investment strategies and pension/investment solutions. In addition: sustained focus on cooperation, effectiveness and efficiency.”

Focus will be increased, both in terms of clients/markets and products. Robeco intends to reconfirm the position of clear market leader in the Netherlands and will realize its international ambition by focusing on attractive markets.

One of the pillars of Robeco’s strategy is restructuring and developing the organization, thus improving cooperation, management, control and effectiveness and ultimately increasing added value for clients. Robeco will reduce its fixed costs, especially IT and back-office costs, in order to lift profitability to a healthy and sustainable level. Making choices and improving effectiveness and efficiency will reduce overall costs at a corporate level by EUR 75 million from current levels by 2014.

Robeco intends to significantly expand the synergy with parent company Rabobank. Robeco and Rabobank will increasingly join forces in terms of business development, both in the Netherlands and internationally, both in the retail and institutional markets. Robeco will also maximize its use of Rabobank’s expertise in the area of food & agribusiness, enabling clients to invest in agriculture and the food industry, one of the major themes for the coming decades.

Product range geared to added value to client investments
Robeco will focus on a compact range of actively managed ‘basic’ products supplemented with a select number of proven successes such as Emerging Markets Equities, US Premium Equities, SAM and Transtrend products. In addition, Robeco will create or strengthen strategies and investment solutions that significantly add value to client investment portfolios and where it creates a defensible competitive edge, including: 1. Responsible investing; 2. Inflation-linked products; 3. Food & Agri funds for the institutional market, developed together with Rabobank; 4. Pension and investment solutions, e.g. defined-contribution solutions, manager selection, life-cycle products and fiduciary management; 5. Research and quant products, building on Robeco’s long-standing expertise in this area.

The above also implicates that Robeco will increasingly offer investment solutions, next to investment products. Robeco will stay committed to both the institutional and retail market, aiming to further increase the relative share of institutional assets under management.

Results 2009: Group performance above benchmark
On average 2009 has been a favorable year for Robeco’s clients. 2009 was a very positive year for equity investments. Most of the equity funds compensated, by showing substantial absolute returns, the greater part of the losses of 2008. At group level, in 2009, 73% (2008: 44%) of the assets under management outperformed compared to their benchmarks.  At group level, 89% of equity investments outperformed their benchmark on a gross-of-fee basis. At business-line level, the percentage of outperforming equity assets was 81% for Mainstream Investments Rotterdam, 100% for Mainstream Investments Gestions (Paris, France), 86% for Mainstream Investments RIM (Boston, USA), 98% for Harbor Capital Advisors (Chicago, USA), 89% for SAM (Zurich, Switzerland) and 88% for Canara Robeco Asset Management (Mumbai, India).

Most Robeco fixed-income products generated a positive absolute return in 2009, 46% of the assets outperformed the benchmark. Over a three-year period this figure is 41%.
Transtrend’s Enhanced Risk USD had a very difficult year with a performance of -11.3% net of fees. Robeco Multi Market Bonds (which are largely invested in a Transtrend product) were affected by these results. The hedge fund of funds Robeco Sage Capital International realized an absolute return of 12.0% net of fees over 2009.

The table shows the gross-of-fee absolute returns of the most important funds (net of fees for alternatives).


Robeco N.V. 1929 – 2009
In 2009 the fund celebrated its 80th anniversary. Robeco N.V. has had a glorious history. It survived the depression of the thirties and the Second World War that followed and then prospered during the period of economic growth in the fifties and sixties. It moved sideways during the seventies but then successfully rode the big bull market of the eighties and nineties, ending the century at its highest level ever. Up until now the 21st century has not been very kind to equity investors in developed markets, but at least the relative performance of the fund has been sound over the past years. The fund has been through good and bad times and on average the performance has been a solid 8.2% return per year. An investment of EUR 100 (if the euro had existed then) made in March 1933 would have grown to more than EUR 43,000 by the end of 2009.

Net cash inflow
Robeco’s assets under management showed a growth of 22% in 2009 from EUR 110.7 billion to EUR 134.9 billion. This increase resulted from a positive net investment result of EUR 19.2 billion and a net cash inflow of EUR 7.5 billion. In terms of net cash flow, Robeco saw its best annual performance ever in 2009. The net cash inflow of EUR 7.5 billion was well diversified over products and continents. The retail cash inflow was strong in the US, particularly into the mutual funds of Harbor Capital Advisors. Also in Europe, cash inflow into retail products was impressive but was negatively affected by the fact that some structured products were unwound at maturity. The net cash inflow from European institutional business was strong, with positive cash inflow particularly in emerging-markets products. In Europe, managed futures investment advisor Transtrend was able to attract net cash inflow, despite the fact that its Diversified Trend Program experienced negative returns.

Lower performance fees
Robeco recorded its first loss making year in history. The net result amounted EUR -11.0 million. 2009 operating income decreased by EUR 376.7 million to EUR 512.2 million (-42.4%). Lower performance fees were the main reason for this decline in income from asset-management activities. In particular, the performance fee-related products of Transtrend showed a negative investment return. The remarkable recovery of the financial markets in 2009 and the strong net cash inflow did have a positive effect on management-fee income. Nevertheless, the overall management fee income remained behind 2008. Interest income from banking activities was negatively affected by a lower net interest margin.

During 2009 the competition in the savings market was fierce, causing interest income from banking operations to remain under pressure. Nevertheless Robeco still saw entrusted savings increase by EUR 0.3 billion. During the last quarter of 2009, the net interest margin improved slightly but was still below the long-term average.

Operating expenses amounted to EUR 528.0 million, which is 14.7% lower than in the previous year. In 2009 Robeco executed Top Shape, a program to create a more efficient organization, fit for future growth. The decision to increase efficiency was made early in 2008, after Robeco Group’s cost-effectiveness was assessed using a peer-group comparison. The financial crisis also increased the need to take urgent action. The majority of the measures were implemented in the course of 2009, mainly at the operations of Robeco in Rotterdam. This restructuring program aims to cut annual costs by EUR 78 million and in 2009 Robeco already realized EUR 41 million of cost reduction. The measures implemented reduced the workforce by 300 staff. As a consequence of Top Shape, and the fact that there were fewer projects, the level of out-of-pocket expenses for temporary staff was reduced by 33 percent. Compared with 2008, consultancy fees decreased by EUR 18.5 million (48%). In addition, the housing and marketing expenses were lower. In order to make Robeco ‘fit for future growth’ several information technology (IT) projects were carried out, which led to higher IT expenses in 2009. Robeco outsourced its IT infrastructure activities to EDS as of 1 January 2009.
Share this page: