Money Manager Strives to Double Japanese Pension Assets

Dutch money manager Robeco Group aims to double assets from Japanese pension funds within two years, shifting investments away from traditional asset classes such as bonds and equities.

(June 1, 2010) — Within two years, Robeco Group, the Dutch money manager owned by Rabobank Groep NV, plans to double Japanese pension assets, which have been hit by two decades of waning markets and an aging population.

As funds seek to diversify investments away from traditional asset classes such as bonds and equities, Robeco, which has about $194 billion in total assets, aims to control a portion of Japan’s more than 60 trillion yen corporate pension market.

“We think this is the time to start tapping into the market,” Tanaka said in an interview in Tokyo with Bloomberg. “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.”

Tanaka said to Bloomberg that Robeco’s Tokyo unit plans to hire one to two client service professionals this year in order to satisfy growing demand from Japanese clients.

Since it opened in Tokyo in 2005, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. Japan has grown assets from Japanese pensions to 60 billion yen ($657 million), investing them in a managed futures strategy run by Robeco’s Transtrend Inc. unit, Bloomberg reported. The strategy incorporates investment in financial assets ranging from equities to livestock and has returned 7.1% this year through April.

To contact the <em>aiCIO</em> editor of this story: Paula Vasan at <a href=''></a>; 646-308-2742