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Robeco’s new London office to focus on institutional market

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The €205bn asset manager Robeco is to set up a London sales office focusing on the institutional market, key accounts and consultant relations within the next four years.

Meanwhile, it will keep its Rotterdam-based head office and move to new premises in 2016, according to its new growth strategy plan for 2014-18.

A spokeswoman at Robeco said she could not be more specific on when the London office would become operational.

The company said it aimed to increase its assets under management organically to more than €300bn, and that it would also look for acquisition opportunities, in particular in Japan, in cooperation with Orix Corporation, which acquired a 90% stake in the company last year.

The pure-play asset manager said it expected to grow in Europe through its quantitative capabilities and by offering pensions solutions and sustainability integration.

It added that it wanted to enter the German and Swiss markets with multi-asset pension solutions.

“Client demand is shifting from products to solutions,” Robeco said.

Robeco and Orix are also looking to grow in the US and Asia, where both players have already established a strong presence.

According to Roderick Munsters, Robeco’s chief executive, approximately 50% of its AUM originated in the US.

However, in a clarification of the growth strategy, he stressed that the Netherlands would remain a key market.

The strategy plan also indicated that Robeco was considering setting up a Singapore office, focusing on sovereign wealth funds and key accounts.

Currently, the asset manager has regional offices in Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney.

Robeco said its Asian investment capabilities would continue to focus on Asia Pacific equities, but that it also hoped to expand into Asian fixed income.

Orix and Robeco said they were assessing their options for simplifying Robeco’s corporate structure through a new holding company, to better execute its international growth strategy.

At present, 47% of Robeco’s AUM comes from institutional investors.

In 2010, Munsters said he wanted to increase this to 60% within five years by setting up a new subsidiary, Robeco Investment Solutions.

At the time, Robeco’s chief executive made clear he aimed to increase institutional business by adding products and services for responsible investment, inflation-linked products and food and agri funds.

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