ORIX Corp.'s planned purchase of a controlling stake in Robeco Group will elevate the Tokyo-based financial firm from a bit player in global money management circles to the big leagues.
Under the deal, announced Feb. 19, ORIX will buy a 90.1% stake in Robeco — which had €189 billion ($248 billion) in assets under management at the end of 2012 — from Rabobank. Some market veterans say the switch could leave the Rotterdam, Netherlands-based money manager with a parent company better positioned to support its continued growth.
Building on the $11 billion in assets managed by Mariner Investment Group LLC — the hedge fund firm in Harrison, N.Y., that ORIX acquired in 2010 — the Robeco deal would give ORIX roughly $260 billion in global assets under management, ORIX spokesman Haruyasu Yamada said.
That's just off the pace set by Japanese market leader Nomura Asset Management, which had ¥25.633 trillion ($280 billion) in global AUM as of Dec. 31, according to Nomura's website.
Speaking at a Feb. 19 news conference, ORIX executives predicted their firm's financial network in Asia and the Middle East could help create greater regional diversity for Robeco, which is more than 95% focused on Europe and the U.S. At the end of 2012, only 2% or so of Robeco's assets came from Asia-based clients.
At the same time, ORIX executives expressed a willingness to make additional investments in asset management, designating Robeco as ORIX's “primary platform” and “ideal vehicle” for pursuing its global asset management ambitions.
Neither Yoshihiko Miyauchi, ORIX's CEO, nor Makoto Inoue, president and chief operating officer, could be reached for comment.