Robeco seeks “forceful” institutional growth

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NETHERLANDS – Robeco, reporting a 48% rise in net profit, says it is looking to “forcefully grow” its European institutional business.

“Regarding our European institutional business, we aim to consolidate and expand the Dutch institutional franchise, forcefully grow the European institutional business and opportunistically gain non-European mandates,” Robeco, the asset management arm of Rabobank, said.

Institutional clients account for 59% of its assets under management, which rose 8.9 billion euros to 108.2 billion euros at the end of 2003.

Net profit rose 48% to 104.4 million euros from 70.6 million euros in 2002. “The main contributors were the prosperous alternative-products business and the cost reductions resulting from a strategic restructuring.” It has cut 229 staff.

It said the growth of its alternatives business meant that the “traditional profit base” of retail mutual funds and institutional segregated mandates was diminishing in relative weight.

Alternative assets under management rise from 7.8 billion euros to 11.9 billion euros. Its hedge fund business “grew substantially”.

Commenting on the market-timing affair, Robeco said that it “has no agreement with anyone to market time or late trade in Robeco funds”.

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