Robeco Group, the Dutch money manager owned by Rabobank Groep NV, aims to double assets from Japanese pension funds within two years, said Tetsuya Tanaka, senior executive advisor of the firm's Japan unit.
Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. Japan, which opened in Tokyo in 2005, has grown assets from Japanese pensions to 60 billion yen ($657 million) and invested them in a managed futures strategy run by Robeco's Transtrend Inc. unit, Mr. Tanaka said. The strategy, which invests in financial assets ranging from equities to livestock, has returned 7.1% this year through April.
Robeco, with about $194 billion in total assets under management, aims to capture a slice of Japan's more than 60 trillion yen corporate pension market as funds seek to diversify investments away from traditional asset classes such as bonds and equities. About 37% of Japanese pensions surveyed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. said they expect to boost allocations to alternative investments.
“We think this is the time to start tapping into the market,” Mr. Tanaka said in an interview. “Pension funds are looking for products that have low correlation with market moves as they seek to dissolve their home-biased investments and battle low interest rates.”
To meet rising demand from Japanese clients, Robeco's Tokyo unit plans to hire one to two client service professionals this year, Mr. Tanaka said. The unit has increased its headcount to nine from four since 2006, he said.