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Quantitative investing
Leading the way in quantitative investing

Quantitative investing

We’ve been leading the way in quantitative investing for over 25 years. With our experienced research and investment teams, systematic exploitation of market inefficiencies and strong track records, you can rely on us to deliver superior investment returns.

Robeco publishes a new book of collected articles on quant investing in EMs
Robeco publishes a new book of collected articles on quant investing in EMs
Our new publication ‘A quant approach to emerging markets investing – Collected Robeco articles’ is now available.
29-04-2019 | Research
Factors are a permanent feature of financial markets
Factors are a permanent feature of financial markets
Are factor premiums here to stay?
12-04-2019 | Insight
Guide to low volatility investing
Guide to low volatility investing
This new edition includes recent figures and a new section on income generation.
10-04-2019 | Insight

25 years of applied quantitative innovation

At Robeco we’re excited about the possibilities offered by quantitative models, which represent a natural fit with our scientific, disciplined approach to investing. We’ve invested a lot of effort in developing our quantitative capabilities over the past 25 years, as a result of which we are now widely recognized as a leader in the field of quant.

The rise of Factor Investing, is it just a hype?

Robeco has long been a pioneer in quantitative investing, having been using quantitative models that exploit investor behavior since the early 1990s. We manage a range of pure quantitative equity, fixed income and multi-asset strategies for investors across the world, and we also apply our models to our traditional fundamental portfolios.

Ten things you should know about factor investing

As well as providing a wide range of funds, we tailor quantitative mandates to meet the needs of institutional investors. In fact, we initially developed several of our quantitative strategies as bespoke solutions to meet an individual client’s needs. We customize portfolios along a number of dimensions, including their investment universe, risk-return profile and ESG characteristics, enabling our clients to fine-tune their portfolios.

"Every investment decision should be research-driven"

The range of quantitative strategies we provide today are grounded in the research, but also in the experience that we’ve gained from decades of managing client assets according to an academically underpinned and systematic approach. This has enabled us to develop proprietary stock-selection, credit, duration and asset-allocation models that have proven their ability to add value over the long term. In addition, enhanced definitions of generic factors maximize the risk-adjusted potential of our quant equity and credit strategies by avoiding unrewarded risks associated with generic factor definitions. We also apply a range of techniques to minimize turnover, thus reducing trading costs and maximizing net returns.

Over 40 quant professionals

Our large team of quant researchers and portfolio managers has been instrumental in our success over the years. Quantitative researchers are responsible for developing the models, algorithms and definitions that lie at the core of our scientific approach to quantitative investing. Our quantitative portfolio managers are responsible for consistently translating our models’ signals in our portfolios, portfolio monitoring, and contributing to model maintenance and enhancements.

The brains behind the models
Meet our team

With over 40 dedicated quantitative researchers and portfolio managers covering equity, fixed income and multi-asset strategies, we are home to one of the largest quantitative teams in Europe. Our quant researchers are involved in a wide range of activities. In addition to developing our proprietary quantitative security selection models and portfolio construction algorithms, they also support our portfolio managers in designing, implementing and maintaining our models, risk management tools, currency and derivatives strategies, and performance attribution tools.

Quant research library

Our quant researchers and portfolio managers maintain strong ties with the world of academia, with several acting as guest lecturers at leading universities and taking part in long-running quantitative investing research and academic programs. They also conduct a considerable amount of ground-breaking research in-house, and have made a number of contributions to quantitative investment theory. For example, they regularly publish articles in leading journals on topics such as factor investing, the low-volatility anomaly and how to minimize transaction costs in quant investment processes.

groundbreaking papers
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Our quantitative researchers and portfolio managers have had a profound impact on the risk-adjusted returns and range of solutions that we provide our clients. For instance, their work has been pivotal in our development of the sophisticated factor definitions that enable us to optimize our portfolios’ risk-return profiles. Meanwhile, their experience in analyzing factors in the equity market led to a groundbreaking study on their application to the corporate bond market. This enabled us to launch one of the first ever multi-factor credit strategies in 2015.

1 clear philosophy

At Robeco we manage a comprehensive range of quant strategies. They’re all underpinned by one clear investment philosophy. This philosophy forms the basis of all our investment processes within our quantitative product range, which consists of equity, fixed income and multi-asset strategies.

The philosophy can be summarized as follows: Evidence-based research: We seek to understand what drives the markets by identifying and understanding factors that are rewarded with superior risk-adjusted performance. Economic rationale: statistical patterns can occur by chance, so any quantitative indicator we use in our processes must be based on a convincing economic rationale. Prudent investing: All of the investment decisions we take are transparent and easily explainable, and we always avoid unnecessary trading costs.

Enhanced Indexing and Active equity strategies. Our Enhanced Indexing and Active equity strategies aim to consistently outperform a benchmark with a controlled tracking error by taking exposure to a balanced combination of factors. These strategies use a proprietary multi-factor stock selection model that gives higher weights to attractive stocks and lower weights to unattractive ones. These controlled tracking-error strategies are available for both emerging and developed markets, either as funds or as tailor-made mandates.
More about our Enhanced Indexing and Active equity strategies.

Standalone factor strategies. We manage a range of standalone factor strategies that exploit four proven factors: value, momentum, low-volatility and quality. The most prominent among these is our active, low-volatility Conservative Equities strategy. Our Conservative Equities strategies use a proprietary stock selection model and portfolio construction algorithm aimed at achieving lower absolute risk than the market index with a similar or higher return, resulting in a higher Sharpe ratio. The model is centered around the low-volatility premium, but also uses value and momentum factors to identify the most attractive low-volatility stocks. We’ve been successfully managing Conservative Equities funds and mandates since 2006.
More about factor investing

Tailor made factor investing solutions: the case studies

Multi-factor equity strategies. For investors keen to gain diversified exposure to a range of proven factors, our multi-factor equity fund allocates to Robeco’s enhanced value, momentum, low-volatility and quality factors, all of which have been shown to have strong long-term risk-adjusted return potential. We also have considerable experience setting up bespoke multi-factor mandates that are fully complementary with our clients’ existing portfolios’ factor exposures.
More about multi-factor solutions equity

Multi-factor indices. We have developed multi-factor indices to efficiently capture factor premiums in a transparent, low cost way. The multi-factor equity indices strategy is designed to reflect performance of an investment strategy that seeks exposures to four proven factors premiums: Value, Momentum, Low Vol and Quality. Rather than using generic factor definitions, our strategy uses enhanced definitions to strip out unintended risks and maximize a strategy’s return potential.
More about multi-factor equity indices

Quantitative fixed income. Our quantitative fixed income strategies seek to outperform the global and emerging bond markets based solely on the output of our proprietary quantitative duration model, which aims to forecast the direction of interest rates. We’ve been using this model since 1994, over which time it has performed well in both bull and bear markets and periods of low and high volatility. The strategies are designed to cater to investors who seek exposure to the global bond markets in combination with highly active duration management. We run a similar strategy that uses active duration management to add value to a portfolio of money market instruments.
More about quant fixed income.

Factor credit. Robeco research has shown that factors apply not just to the equity markets, but also to corporate bonds. Our single-factor-tilt Conservative Credit strategy invests in low-risk corporate bonds based on the observation that historically, lower-risk bonds have provided better risk-adjusted returns than higher-risk bonds. It adopts a buy-and-hold approach to minimize turnover. Our multi-factor credit strategy provides balanced exposure to Robeco’s enhanced low-risk, value, momentum and size factors and can be fully customized according to individual requirements.
More about conservative credits and multi-factor credits

Quantitative multi-asset. Our quant multi-asset solutions bring together Robeco’s expertise in quantitative investing across asset classes. With these strategies we take positions in developed and emerging markets stocks, investment grade and high yield corporate bonds and at the market level. Our allocation models in equity, government bonds, credits and currency markets have been developed since the 1990s and are implemented using liquid derivatives. Furthermore, our multi-asset strategies incorporate advanced sustainability integration across multiple dimensions, including environmental footprint reduction. The strategies range from defensive to market-neutral and can be customized according to individual investment needs.

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