There are 30 fund management groups in the Netherlands, but the largest groups such as Robeco, dominate in terms of assets under management and in terms of distribution capability. Ro-beco has, for example, an exclusive distribution ar-rangement with Rabobank.

The majority of Dutch in-vestment funds are listed on the stock exchange, allowing the investor to buy the fund direct from the market without dealing with the manager. Fund fees are low in the Netherlands; normal transaction costs are only 0.5% and the funds charge no annual management fees.

The domestic investment funds market size is about $70bn. Most Dutch equity funds invest in-ternationally although many of the equity oriented funds run by the likes of Ro-beco and ABN Amro are held by private clients abroad, or local and foreign institutions. ABN Amro is the largest bank in the Netherlands and sells its own funds through the branch network. Similarly, ING sells its funds through the banking arm of the group. An ABN Amro subsidiary, MeesPierson, sells private bank services including special investment funds, again sold via the stock exchange.

The equity-related funds of Dutch insurers such as Aegon are particularly popular dom-estically. The insurers have entered the field of asset management quite successfully, and in turn the asset managers and banks have started their own insurance operations. The Dutch senate has recently approved legislation allowing pension funds to expand their activities. They are no longer restricted to the sale of corporate pension plans , paid for by employers. They may also sell life insurance and pensions to individuals.

Robeco, Rabobank, ABN Amro and ING all offer offshore versions of the funds, in the case of ABN Amro, they are money funds denominat-ed in Guilders, Belgian francs, deutschmark, and US dollars. Rabobank has Dutch equity, bond and cash funds available offshore. Robeco, Rolinco, Rodamco and Rorento are all domiciled offshore.