ORIX buys Robeco for €1.94bn(2)

Robeco - whose funds of funds arm is currently investing two funds - will be owned by Japanese financial service group ORIX.

ORIX Corporation, a Japanese financial service group, has acquired a 90.01 percent stake in Robeco, a Rotterdam-based asset manager, from Rabobank, for €1.94 billion. 

Robeco will continue to service customers under its existing brand names. This includes Robeco’s private equity's activities. The firm has €2.18 billion of private equity assets under management, including its $250 million fund of funds, Robeco SAM Clean Tech Private Equity III, and a $100 million fund of funds, Robeco Responsible Private Equity Fund II, which has a focuses on environmental and social and governance practices. 

Rabobank will retain a 9.99 share in Robeco. The firm’s banking activities, which are only based in the Netherlands, will be transferred to Rabobank with Robeco retaining its client service relations. 

Robeco and ORIX were not immediately available for comment. 

With the acquisition, ORIX aims to further build up its presence in the global asset management. Robeco’s “diversified range of businesses across asset classes and regions, the breadth of its global distribution network and experienced investment teams” are why ORIX found the firm attractive, it said in the statement. Robeco’s management board will remain the same, with Roderick Munsters continuing to be chief executive. 

Last year, Robeco’s asset under management increased by 26 percent to €189 billion, compared to €150 billion in 2011. Net profit increased to €197 million from €135 million. ORIX will pursue further expansion in Europe and the US, as well as growth in Asia and Middle East regions, the firm said in the statement. 

“Just like Robeco, ORIX Corporation is a client focused organisation with an entrepreneurial culture. As part of ORIX Group, we will continue to serve our client’s best interest and achieve attractive investment returns,” Munsters said. 

Rabobank sold Robeco for strategic reasons, a spokesperson said. “If Rabobank customers wanted to buy investment products in the past, they would only be offered Robeco products. But legislation has changed and banks are no longer allowed to offer just one investment provider, so the exclusivity is no longer applicable. The rationale to own your own asset manager doesn’t exist anymore,” he said. 

Banks are increasingly offloading private equity portfolios and other investment activities due to increased regulations such as Basel III and Solvency II. However, a Rabobank spokesperson said this did not play a role in this case. “Even without the sale of Robeco, Rabobank already meets the capital requirements for Basil III even though this won’t be implemented until 2019. It will obviously have a positive impact on the [capital] ratios but that is not the reason to sell it,” he said.