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15 Years of Quantitative Emerging Markets Research

13-06-2014 | Research | Wilma de Groot, CFA In 1999, fifteen years ago, Robeco found that quantitative stock selection techniques known to be effective in developed markets are also able to deliver superior investment results in emerging markets. What are the biggest takeaways from the research done and how does the model work in practice?
  • Strong track record of model and of two portfolios Emerging Markets Quant and Active Quant
  • Valuation and Sentiment still two pillars of the model, combination strikes a balance 
  • Incorporation of integrated risk management aimed at improving risk and return
  • Research agenda aimed at lowering costs and increasing performance
Strong track record of model and of two portfolios
The selection model is used successfully in two portfolios: Robeco Emerging Markets Quant and Robeco Active Quant Emerging Markets. The live track record of our quantitative emerging markets model and the two portfolios has been very strong.

Valuation and Sentiment still two pillars of the model
Since its inception in 1999, our model was built on two pillars, namely Valuation and Sentiment. Compared to its current form, the overall structure of the original model has remained virtually unchanged. We strive for an optimal balance between Value and Sentiment factors. We believe that a diversified, balanced model will outperform single-factor models over time, as the two factors individually experience periods of weak performance. The final output of the model is a ranking of stocks from most to least attractive.

Incorporation of integrated risk management aimed at improving risk and return
Over the past fifteen years, we have continuously investigated how to further enhance the model. The most crucial innovation is incorporating integrated risk management at the root of the investment process, meaning that we apply sophisticated risk controls in the definition of our variables. As a result, we are able to obtain even better risk adjusted returns with more stable risk contributions from each factor over time.

Research agenda aimed at lowering costs and increasing performance
We are proud of what we have achieved and are firmly committed to further innovate with our ambitious research agenda. This agenda consists of lowering transaction costs, ESG integration, further decreasing avoiding unrewarded risks and a better understanding of which investor behavior is driving factor premiums.

Wilma de Groot

Wilma de Groot, CFA

Senior Portfolio Manager

"Quantitative investment strategies should be transparent and result in logically explainable portfolios, instead of black boxes.”

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Wilma de Groot, CFA
Senior Portfolio Manager


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