IRELAND – Robusta, the vehicle for Nestlé’s small to medium sized investments, has replaced investment managers Capital International and Dresdner RCM Global Investors Asia with Alliance Capital Management.

Robusta said late yesterday that AllianceBernstein – the institutional investment management arm of Alliance Capital – took over as investment manager of the Robusta Global Emerging Markets Fund with effect from 28 October 2005.

Capital declined to comment on the matter. Reports recently have quoted investment consultants saying Capital faces losing mandates due to poor performance.

The decision was made by the directors of Robusta Asset Management Ltd. – the managers of the Robusta Fund (the Trust), of which the Emerging Markets Fund is a sub-fund.

According to Nestlé Fonds de Pension chief executive Jean-Pierre Steiner: “Alliance Bernstein offers the advantage of a value and a growth product under the same roof.”

Steiner told IPE that Robusta Asset Management served as advisers in the selection process.

“RAML has gone through a traditional search process, starting with an RFP sent to a long list of candidates, then short list, interviews, including in the final candidates' premises, etc. The whole process has taken several months.”

He added: “The allocation between the two managers (the value manager and the growth manager) within the Robusta fund will be made by Alliance Bernstein itself whereas before it was done by RAML.”

According to reports, Alliance Capital Management will receive a performance-related fee equalling 10% on a net asset value per unit basis of the excess return over the agreed benchmark.

In August three pension executives of the Swiss food group joined the board at Irish Stock Exchange-listed Robusta.

Philippe Kneipe, chairman of Fond de Pension Nestlé in Belgium, Peter Adash of Nestlé Deutschland and Miquel Barnet, manager of Nestlé’s Iberian schemes, were all appointed.

The Nestlé company as a whole has €13bn in assets under management, while the Nestlé Fonds de Pension has €4bn in assets.