NETHERLANDS - Robeco’s assets under management rose by €17bn to €179bn - with institutional assets increasing by 5% to 51% - thanks to major contributions from Dutch institutional investors during the first half of 2012.

According to the Rotterdam-based asset manager, total average excess return was 1.15% (gross of fees), with 68% of the assets outperforming their benchmark, and all assets classes contributing positively.

Roderick Munsters, chief executive at Robeco Group, said inflows for the second half of the year looked good.

“The cash inflows and strong investment performance are giving us confidence in this period, during which we are working closely with Rabobank on the strategic review of the business,” he said.

Munsters stressed that Robeco’s focus remained on building an institutional client base, adding that its new licence for the cross-border pensions vehicle PPI had positioned the company to serve European markets.

He also said Robeco’s would continue leveraging the 17-year track record of its Swiss subsidiary Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) to capture market potential and achieve a leadership position in sustainable investing.

Robeco’s assets under engagement grew by €1bn to €44bn during the first six months of the year.

The asset manager recently opened offices in Sydney and Miami, and said it was also aiming to increase its presence in key markets in Latin America.

Earlier this spring, Rabobank confirmed it was exploring the “strategic options” for its subsidiary and asset manager Robeco as part of a strategic reorientation.

A spokesman at Rabobank said one of the options “might be the sale of the company”.

The €150bn asset manager has been headed by Munsters - former CIO of the Dutch civil service pension scheme ABP - for the past two years.

Under his watch, the company has refocused on institutional investors and launched a cost-cutting operation.