SWITZERLAND - Sander van Eijkern stepped down as a board member of Robeco on 1 February, after disagreeing with executives about the future strategy of the parent group.

A statement issued today said Van Eijkern (pictured) has relinquished his board role "as a consequence of a difference of opinion" about Robeco's direction, and will step down as chief executive of sustainable investment management firm SAM.

The remaining board members at Robeco have taken over his duties, with Leni Boeren stepping up to be responsible for SAM, although Van Eijkern remains a member of the supervisory board for Robeco's Transtrend subsidiary.

The process to find a new CEO has just begun, said a spokesman for Robeco, and both internal and external will be considered so there is no indication has to how long the search for a new CEO could take at this time.

In the interim, Stephanie Feigt and Micharl Baldinger, CIO and head of global clients and marketing respectively at SAM, will share the CEO duties.

This latest development comes just days after Robeco introduced a new policy to apply ESG to all of its investments. However, the two are not in any way connected, said the spokesman, as the disagreement was over future strategy of Robeco.

Elsewhere within Robeco, Hans Rademaker also joined the Robeco board earlier this week as board member responsible for mainstream investments. He will bear responsibility for the investment department, but individual CIOs will retain their titles, said the spokesman.

SAM is an investment boutique specialising in sustainable investments. It managed and advised on $14.8bn of assets $14.8bn (€10.6bn) in assets at the end of 2009.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email julie.henderson@ipe.com