RobecoSAM Smart Materials Equities I USD
Scarce resources, abundant investment opportunities
Every share class of a product invests in the same portfolio of securities and has the same investment objectives and policies. However, their parameters might deviate. For instance and amongst others, their distribution type, currency exposure or fees and expenses might differ. The most common share classes at Robeco are:
a) D/DH shares, which are regular shares and available for all Investors;
b) I/IH shares, for institutional investors as defined from time to time by the Luxembourg supervisory authority.
For more information on share classes please go to the prospectus.
Class and codes
MSCI World Index TRN
Under the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, products can be labelled as either Article 6, 8 or 9 fund.
Article 6 - The fund is not in scope of enhanced sustainability disclosures compared to Article 8 and 9.
Article 8 - The fund does not have a sustainable investment objective but promotes environmental or social characteristics and is subject to enhanced sustainability disclosures.
Article 9 - The fund has a sustainable investment objective and is subject to enhanced sustainability disclosures.
Regardless of Article 8 or 9, the companies in which investments are made must follow good governance practices, and sustainable investments must not do any significant harm.
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- Performance & costs
- Forward-looking concept — Focus on companies that benefit from structural changes resulting from resource scarcity. The fund invests in companies offering products and services that substitute existing materials and processes
- Focus areas — Invests in structural winners along the materials value chain. The most interesting and fastest-growing focus areas are electric mobility, robotics and lightweight materials.
About this fund
RobecoSAM Smart Materials Equities is an actively managed fund that invests globally in companies that provide innovative materials and process technologies. The selection of these stocks is based on fundamental analysis. The fund has sustainable investment as its objective, within the meaning of Article 9 of the Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of 27 November 2019 on Sustainability-related disclosures in the financial sector. The strategy integrates sustainability criteria as part of the stock selection process and through a theme-specific sustainability assessment. The portfolio is built on the basis of an eligible investment universe that includes companies whose business models contribute to the thematic investment objectives. The assessment regarding relevant SDGs uses an internally developed framework, more information on which can be obtained at www.robeco.com/si. The fund also aims to achieve a better return than the index.
Total size of fund
Size of share class
Inception date fund
Pieter Busscher CFA
Pieter Busscher is Portfolio Manager of the RobecoSAM Smart Materials Equities and RobecoSAM Smart Mobility Equities strategies. He focuses on sustainable growth opportunities in new materials, efficiency technologies, reuse of resources and new mobility solutions. He started at Robeco as a Deputy Portfolio Manager for the Sustainable Water strategy. Pieter became the Lead Portfolio Manager for Smart Materials in 2009 and Deputy Portfolio Manager for Smart Mobility at launch in 2018. Prior to joining Robeco in 2007, he began his career at Credit Suisse Asset Management in Zurich. He studied International Business at RSM Erasmus University and Banking and Finance at the University of St. Gallen and is a CFA® charterholder.
Since inception 01/2017
Tracking error ex-post (%)
The ex-post tracking error is defined as the volatility of the fund's achieved excess return over the index return. In fund management, most managers are subject to an ex-ante (pre-determined) tracking error, which defines the extent of the additional risk they may take when aspiring to outperform the fund's benchmark. The ex-post tracking error explains the distribution of past fund performances compared to those of its underlying benchmark. With a higher tracking error, the fund's returns deviate more from its index's returns, hence there is a greater chance that the fund may outperform. The wider the spread of returns relative to the benchmark, the more "actively" a fund has been managed. In contrast, a low tracking error indicates more "passive" management.
This ratio serves to evaluate the quality of the excess return a fund manager has achieved because it takes the active risk involved into account. The information ratio is defined as the excess return over the benchmark return divided by the fund's tracking error. The higher the information ratio, the better. For example, a fund with a tracking error of 4% and an excess return of 2% over benchmark has an information ratio of 0.5, which is quite good.
This ratio measures the risk-adjusted performance and allows the performance quality of different investments to be compared. It is calculated by subtracting the risk-free rate from the fund's returns and dividing the result by the fund's standard deviation (risk). So the Sharpe ratio tells us whether a fund's returns are the result of smart investment decisions or stem from taking extra risk. The higher the ratio, the better, meaning that a greater return is achieved per unit of risk. This ratio is named after its inventor, Nobel Laureate, William Sharpe.
Alpha measures the difference between a portfolio's actual return and its expected performance, given the level of risk, compared to the benchmark. A positive alpha figure indicates that the fund has performed better than expected, given the level of risk. Beta is used to calculate the level of risk compared to the benchmark..
Beta is a measure of a portfolio's volatility, or systematic risk, in comparison to the benchmark. A beta of 1 indicates that the portfolio will move with the benchmark. A beta of less than 1 means that the portfolio will be less volatile than the benchmark. A beta of more than 1 indicates that the portfolio will be more volatile than the benchmark. For example, if a portfolio's beta is 1.2 it is theoretically 20% more volatile than the benchmark.
Standard deviation is a measure of the dispersion of a set of data from its mean. The more spread out the data is, the higher the deviation. In finance, standard deviation is applied to the annual rate of return of an investment to measure the investment's volatility (risk).
Max. monthly gain (%)
The maximum (i.e. highest) absolute positive monthly performance in the underlying period.
Max. monthly loss (%)
The maximum (i.e. highest) absolute negative monthly performance in the underlying period.
Months out performance
Number of months in which the fund outperformed the benchmark in the underlying period.
Hit ratio (%)
This percentage indicates the number of months in which the fund outperformed in a given period.
Months Bull market
Number of months of positive benchmark performance in the underlying period.
Months outperformance Bull
Number of months in which the fund outperformed positive benchmark performance in the underlying period.
Hit ratio Bull (%)
This percentage indicates the number of months the fund outperformed a positive benchmark in an underlying period.
Months Bear market
Number of months of negative benchmark performance in the underlying period.
Months outperformance Bear
Number of months in which the fund outperformed negative benchmark performance in the underlying period.
Hit ratio Bear (%)
This percentage indicates the number of months the fund outperformed a negative benchmark performance in an underlying period.
Indication of annual charges that are deducted for this fund. This indication is based on the costs over the last calendar year and may vary from year to year. Transaction costs incurred by the fund, any performance fees and other one-off costs are not included in the ongoing charges.
Included management fee
A fee paid by the fund to the asset management company for the professional management of the fund.
Included service fee
This fee is intended to cover official fees, such as the cost of annual reports, annual shareholders' meetings and price publications.
The transaction costs shown are the average annual transaction costs over the last three years calculated in accordance with European regulations.
Fiscal product treatment
The fund is established in Luxembourg and is subject to the Luxembourg tax laws and regulations. The fund is not liable to pay any corporation, income, dividend or capital gains tax in Luxembourg. The fund is subject to an annual subscription tax ('tax d'abonnement') in Luxembourg, which amounts to 0.01% of the net asset value of the fund. This tax is included in the net asset value of the fund. The fund can in principle use the Luxembourg treaty network to partially recover any withholding tax on its income.
Fiscal treatment of investor
Investors who are not subject to (exempt from) Dutch corporate-income tax (e.g. pension funds) are not taxed on the achieved result. Investors who are subject to Dutch corporate-income tax can be taxed for the result achieved on their investment in the fund. Dutch bodies that are subject to corporate-income tax are obligated to declare interest and dividend income, as well as capital gains in their tax return. Investors residing outside the Netherlands are subject to their respective national tax regime applying to foreign investment funds. We advise individual investors to consult their financial or tax adviser about the tax consequences of an investment in this fund in their specific circumstances before deciding to invest in the fund.
- Top 10
The fund is allowed to pursue an active currency policy to generate extra returns and can engage in currency hedging transactions.
In principle the fund does not intend to distribute dividend and so both the income earned by the fund and its overall performance are reflected in its share price.
RobecoSAM Smart Materials Equities is an actively managed fund that invests globally in companies that provide innovative materials and process technologies. The selection of these stocks is based on fundamental analysis. The fund has sustainable investment as its objective within the meaning of Article 9 of the European Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. The fund fosters solutions to reduce resource intensity in the economy by investing in more efficient, scalable materials that have lower emissions over the lifetime, mainly investing in companies that advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Responsible Consumption and Production and Climate Action. The fund integrates ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) factors in the investment process and applies Robeco’s Good Governance policy. The fund applies sustainability indicators, including but not limited to, normative, activity-based and region-based exclusions, and proxy voting. The fund's aim is also to achieve a better return than the index. The strategy integrates sustainability criteria as part of the stock selection process and through a theme-specific sustainability assessment. The portfolio is built on the basis of an eligible investment universe that includes companies whose business models contribute to the thematic investment objectives. The assessment regarding relevant SDGs uses an internally developed framework, more information on which can be obtained at www.robeco.com/si. Benchmark: MSCI World Index TRN. The majority of stocks selected will be components of the benchmark, but stocks outside the benchmark may be selected too. While the investment policy is not constrained by a benchmark, the fund may use one for comparison purposes. The fund can deviate substantially from the issuer, country and sector weightings of the benchmark. There are no restrictions on the deviation from the benchmark. The benchmark is a broad market-weighted index that is not consistent with the sustainable objective of the fund.
Risk management is fully integrated into the investment process to ensure that positions always meet predefined guidelines.
Full sustainability-related disclosuresDownload full report
Summary sustainability-related disclosuresDownload summary
The fact that the sub-fund has obtained this label does not mean that it meets your personal sustainability goals or that the label is in line with requirements arising from any future national or European rules. The label obtained is valid for one year and subject to annual reappraisal. More information on this label.
SDG Impact Alignment
This distribution across SDG scores shows the portfolio weight allocated to companies with a positive, negative and neutral impact alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) based on Robeco’s SDG Framework. The frameworks, which utilizes a three-step approach to assess a company’s impact alignment with the relevant SDGs, provides a methodology for assigning companies with an SDG score. The score ranges from positive to negative impact alignment with levels from high, medium or low impact alignment. This results in a 7-step scale from -3 to +3. If the data set does not cover the full portfolio, the figures shown above each impact level sum to the coverage level to reflect the data coverage of the portfolio, with minimal deviations that reflect rounding. Weights < 0.5% will show as 0. If an index has been selected, the same figures are also provided for the index. Holdings mapped as corporates and/or sovereign are included in the figures. For more information, please visit https://www.robeco.com/docm/docu-brochure-robecosam-sdg-framework.pdf
The fund's sustainable investment objective is to help mitigate the resource scarcity challenge within industries while supporting economic growth. Resource scarcity and sustainability considerations are incorporated in the investment process by the means of a target universe definition, exclusions, ESG integration, a carbon footprint target and voting. The fund only invests in companies that have a significant thematic fit as per Robeco's thematic universe methodology. Through screening on both Robeco's internally developed SDG Framework and Robeco’s exclusion policy, the fund does not invest in issuers that have a negative impact on the SDGs, are in breach of international norms or where products have been deemed controversial. Financially material ESG factors are integrated in the bottom-up fundamental investment analysis to assess existing and potential ESG risks and opportunities. The fund's weighted carbon footprint will be equal to or better than that of its Climate Transition Benchmark. In addition, where a stock issuer is flagged for breaching international standards in the ongoing monitoring, the issuer will become subject to exclusion. Lastly, the fund makes use of shareholder rights and applies proxy voting in accordance with Robeco's proxy voting policy.
In January, the strongest performance came from Advanced Materials, where we saw Efficient Building Materials outperforming on less interest rate concerns. Process Technologies was also strong, with an outperformance from Cleaner Industrial Solutions but below average for Circular Systems and Recycling. Analytical Instruments benefited from the takeover bid for National Instruments. In Smart Manufacturing, Automation and Process Control benefited from positive earnings, while Software was below average. Transformational Materials was more in line in general, while Energy Storage outperformed on lithium companies, and Lightweight Materials was in line.
Based on transaction prices, the fund's return was 15.73%. In January, performance was positive. The Transformational Materials cluster showed the strongest performance in January, mainly driven by the Energy Storage sub-cluster. Albemarle, the US lithium producer, saw its share price rebound following the decline in December. The company published better-than-expected 22Q4 results and issued very bullish 2027 guidance, with EBITDA targeted at USD 7.8 billion, which is significantly above consensus expectations. The share price of Samsung SDI, the South Korean battery producer, recovered following a decline in December. Process Technology posted a very solid performance in January. Test and measurement leader National Instruments (Analytical Instruments), one of our top positions in the portfolio, was up >40% after receiving a bid from the large industrial conglomerate Emerson. We had built the position in the second half of 2022, with our investment case based on the potential for margin expansion due to improved operating performance, which is similar to the takeover rationale now provided by Emerson. Potential competitive bids might add further upside.
Expectation of fund manager
Pieter Busscher CFA
Strong secular growth themes related to decreased emissions (net-zero targets) and more efficient materials and production techniques (e.g. smart manufacturing) are impacting their respective sectors. More specifically, efficient building materials, 3D software, the Internet of Things and robotics companies are presenting attractive investment opportunities. In the Recycling and Circular Systems investment cluster, which focuses on reusing, recycling and repurposing plastics, attractive opportunities are leading to more circular business models.