NETHERLANDS/USA – Rotterdam based investment manager Robeco is buying Ohio based US mutual fund provider, Harbor Capital Advisors, for approximately US$490m (e546m), as part of its US expansion plans.

The Dutch group has reached an agreement with glass and plastic packaging producer Owens-Illinois, which currently owns Harbor, to purchase all assets and liabilities of the US manager and its subsidiaries.

Harbor Capital has a total of US$17bn in assets under management, and a large part of its expertise comes in the outsourcing of investment portfolios to third party managers, or sub-advisers.

“Through Harbor Capital Advisors we can reach a new client segment in the US market and as such substantially broaden our base. Moreover, we think its business model, using only sub-advisers, is an extremely promising concept, which is becoming increasingly popular,” says Pieter Korteweg, chairman of Robeco’s group executive committee.

Harbor Capital Advisors was established in 1983 by Owens-Illinois to advise an internal mutual fund for its employees savings plan assets, 401(k) plans. The funds were made available to the public in 1987.
The company offers twelve investment funds for institutional - mainly 401(k) and other pension plans - and private clients.

Robeco already owns US asset manager, Weiss, Peck & Greer, which currently has US$20bn in assets under management.