NETHERLANDS – Robeco, the asset management arm of Rabobank, had a disappointing inflow of new assets in the first half of the year – hit by US outflows.

“The inflow of new assets was disappointing, with just a small net inflow achieved,” the bank said in its first-half earnings report. “The US activities of Robeco in particular reported a relatively large outflow of assets following the departure of an investment team.”

Pre-tax operating profit at the bank’s asset management division rose 26% to €106m, on total income that was up 9% at €339m.

Assets managed and held in custody rose 9% to €217bn – with assets managed and held for clients rising by €10bn “mainly due to positive investment results and a higher US dollar exchange rate”.

Of client assets, 46% are equities, 35% fixed income and 19% is in cash or other assets such as hedge funds and private equity.

Overall, Rabobank’s net profit rose to €941m, which it said was due in part to all-time low interest rates.

In April this year the bank signed a deal under which its Interpolis pensions arm would merge with Achmea in a deal which would see Rabobank take an eventual 37% stake in Achmea parent Eureko.

Elsewhere, AXA’s asset management arm had net inflows of €16bn in the first half. Earnings at the unit rose 30% to €154m.