The Dutch asset manager Robeco has hired three emerging market debt (EMD) portfolio managers with strong ESG credentials from Candriam to complement its fixed income and EMD offering.

The three lead portfolio managers – Diliana Deltcheva, Richard Briggs, and Nicholas Sauer – will launch hard currency and local currency emerging market (EM) government bond strategies in the second half of this year, Robeco said in a press release.

According to Citywire, Candriam has promoted Christopher Mey, the firm’s head of corporate emerging market debt, to head of EMD.

Robeco’s three hires emanate from the firm’s 2021-2025 strategy to enhance its EM capabilities with a sovereign EMD capability. The two new funds complement Robeco’s current fixed income offerings in EM, which cover Asian bonds and EM credits.

“A real government bond capacity was missing. This is still the largest segment in EMD with a lot of client demand,” Mark van der Kroft, chief investment officer at Robeco, told IPE in emailed comments.

Mark van der Kroft at Robeco

Mark van der Kroft at Robeco

“Expanding in EMD is a logical step for Robeco, as it combines two of our key strengths: investing in emerging markets and our expertise in fixed income,” Van der Kroft added.

“These appointments and the expansion of our offering with an EMD capability enable us to better serve our clients and capitalise on the opportunities present in this dynamic asset class,” he continued.


At Robeco, the three hires will continue the strategies they built at Candriam. The Candriam Sustainable Bond Emerging Markets strategy, which has been classified as Article 9 under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), strives to contribute to “promoting democracy” and alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement.

The fund excludes countries that score below average on the Freedom House Index and overweights countries with economies with low carbon intensity.

As a result, the funds invest mostly in emerging Europe and Latin America, and a has a large underweight in Asia.

This investment approach to emerging markets follows the same path of an increasing number of pension funds. Especially in the Netherlands, it has become usance in recent years to exclude a large number of emerging market countries based on ESG criteria.

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