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Rotterdam/Shanghai, 1 November 2016 – Robeco today announces that it has received a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) business license and has launched its China research team, located in Shanghai. Robeco is in the first batch of international asset management companies to be approved to establish a WFOE in mainland China.
China is one of the largest and fastest growing asset management markets in Asia. With the establishment of the WFOE and the new research team in Shanghai, Robeco strengthens its on-the-ground research capabilities and expands its sales, marketing and client services activities in mainland China. In addition to its new research team, the WFOE office hosts the company’s China sales team.
Led by Jie Lu, Head of Research China, the China research team is an integral part of Robeco’s Hong Kong headquartered Asia Pacific Investment team, headed up by Arnout van Rijn, CIO Asia Pacific. The Hong Kong team manages four strategies – Asia Pacific equities, Asia ex-Japan equities, Chinese equities and Indian equities. The China research team will focus on A-share investment research and will provide advice to Robeco portfolio managers globally. Jie Lu reports to Victoria Mio, Co-Head of Asia Pacific Equities and CIO China. Mio is based in Hong Kong.
Commenting on these developments, Victoria Mio said: “The expansion of Robeco’s Asia Pacific presence via the launch of our WFOE and China research team is an important part of our growth strategy for the region. China continues to demonstrate its commitment to opening its capital markets to global investors, as evidenced by the anticipated inclusion of A-shares in the MSCI Emerging Market Index and the various Stock Connect programs. We believe China is increasingly an important component of global investors’ portfolios and our China research team will be able to provide valuable local insights that many Robeco strategies will benefit from.”
Jie Lu added to this, explaining: “Whereas China used to be very much export-driven, the domestic side of the economy is becoming ever more important – the investible new economy that is emerging in China demands more attention on the research side. Our dedicated China research team will work closely with the wider Asia Pacific investment team, enhancing our regional investment capability by applying our fundamental investment approach to the China market.”
Asia Pacific is strategically important to Robeco. Robeco has had a presence in the region since 2005 and has been growing its footprint via the addition of offices in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore and now China. The company opened a representative office in Shanghai in 2007 and is among the first batch of WFOE licenses issued to international asset management companies in China. Robeco believes the establishment of a WFOE is an exciting first step to tap into the potential the market has to offer and will be actively looking into new business areas such as Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership (QDLP) scheme. The expansion in Asia Pacific is a key part of Robeco’s ‘strategy 2014-2018: accelerate growth’.