Robeco is an originally Dutch asset management firm, since 2013 part of Orix, founded in 1929 as the Rotterdamsch Beleggings Consortium (Rotterdam Investment Consortium). By year end 2014, the company had €246 billion of assets under management. It was acquired in 2001 by the Rabobank Groep and sold in 2013 to ORIX Corporation. Robeco offers assets management services to both institutional and private investors. The funds for private investors are available through Robeco itself and other financial institutions, a number of these funds are also listed on major European stock exchanges. Since 1981 the company also offers savings accounts through its own savings bank Roparco. 1929 A group of prominent businessmen from Rotterdam founded the Rotterdamsch Beleggings Consortium (Rotterdam Investment Consortium) and the Robeco fund. The portfolio is diversified globally over the Netherlands, other European countries, North and South America, and the Dutch East Indies. The company had a startup capital of almost 2 million guilders, but by mid-1932 less than half was left. But the company managed to survive the 1930s and managed to grow during World War II by heavily investing in United States.
1940-1945 On the eve of WWII, almost half of the portfolio is invested in the US. As a result, Robeco’s assets increase by almost 90% between 1939 and 1946.
1953 Robeco introduces a share-saving system, allowing people of more modest means to save up for Robeco shares.
1959 New listings in Paris (1959), Brussels (1960), London (1962) and numerous other European financial centers. Listings are also obtained in Hong Kong (1971) and Tokyo (1976).
1963 Robeco is one of the first foreign investors to enter the Japanese stock market.
1965 Foundation of Rolinco, a second mutual fund, for investors more interested in capital growth than taxable dividend.
1969 Robeco has become the largest mutual fund in Europe.
1974 Foundation of Rorento, Robeco’s first bond fund, as an answer to the oil crisis in 1973.
1980s Robeco opens offices in various European countries, including France, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
1981 The company opens its own savings bank Roparco.
1990s The company continued its international strategy in the 1990s by acquiring a number of US based firms.
1990 The company starts a close cooperation with the Rabobank, which would eventually lead to the takeover of Robeco by the Rabobank in 2001.
1999 Introduction of Robeco DuurzaamAandelen [Sustainable Equities], the first sustainable equity fund launched by a Dutch mainstream asset manager.
2000 Robeco North America acquires Urban Shopping Centers
2002 Robeco North America sells all of its Urban Shopping Center investments
2002 Robeco acquires a 60% interest in Boston Partners Asset Management, a value-equity manager based in Boston. The remaining shares are acquired in 2003.
2002 Robeco acquires a 49% interest in Transtrend, a Rotterdam-based managed-futures trader with a track record going back to 1990. The remaining shares are acquired in 2007.
2004 Introduction of Robeco Sustainable Private Equity, the first sustainable private-equity fund of funds in the world, developed in cooperation with Rabobank.
2006 Introduction of Robeco Clean Tech Private Equity II, an investment program aimed at clean-tech private-equity funds and co-investments, developed in cooperation with Rabobank.
2006 Robeco signs the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment.
2006 Robeco joins the Enhanced Analytics Initiative, a group of international asset owners and asset managers who work together to encourage investment research that considers the impact of extra-financial issues on long-term company performance.
2006 Acquisition of a 64% stake in Swiss based Sustainable Asset Management. SAM Group and Robeco join forces to launch the global number-1 platform for sustainability investments.
2007 For the Belgian market, Robeco decides to focus on third-party distribution; Robeco Bank Belgium is sold to Kaupthing Bank Luxembourg.
2012 Rabobank Group is looking into the "strategic options" for its subsidiary Robeco as part of a strategic reorientation.
2013 In February Rabobank announced the sale of Robeco to ORIX Corporation of Japan. Orix will acquire about 90.01% of the equity in Robeco from Rabobank for €1,935 million (JPY 240.2 billion). Closing of the transaction is subject to legal and regulatory approvals, which are expected to be completed within six months.