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Robeco captures pure-play range in new multi-thematic strategy

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By Jessica Penny
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3 minute read

The asset manager has strengthened its thematic position by providing clients with exposure to a diverse range of global equity strategies.

Robeco has announced the launch of its global multi-thematic strategy, which the firm has deemed a “turnkey” solution for clients seeking long-term returns from megatrends.

Namely, the strategy is a global equity portfolio that seeks to capture the upside potential of powerful themes while mitigating downside risk.

This, Robeco clarified, will be done by bottom-up stock picking across all of its thematic strategies, where it aims to amplify overall returns while minimising the concentration risks and volatility associated with single themes.

“The strategy applies a systematic, dynamic investment process. It allocates and calibrates exposure to the most promising underlying themes and companies from across Robeco’s diverse range of thematic equity strategies,” the firm outlined in a statement on Wednesday.

Building on its existing megatrends fund, Robeco intends to target three key trends: transforming technologies, changing socio-demographics, and preserving earth.

“As a global asset manager, Robeco enables clients to achieve both their financial and sustainability goals by providing superior investment returns and solutions,” commented head of thematic investing, Ralf Oberbannscheidt.

“With our strengthened global multi-thematic strategy, we offer our clients the opportunity to invest in the most relevant trends while at the same time the bundling of these thematic strategies in one capability, provides diversification and volatility-adjusting benefits.”

Expounding on Robeco’s choice of the three key trends, Oberbannscheidt said it reflects the firm’s belief in the economic value of addressing inefficiencies, inequalities, and imbalances in business, society and the environment.

“This value is often underappreciated by broader markets. We’re now able to offer our clients the possibility to invest in three secular trends and 13 innovative thematic strategies through one single strategy,” he added.

Robeco confirmed that the strategy will be led by three of its portfolio managers – Dora Buckulcikova, Marco van Lent, and Steef Bergakker – and two investment analysts.

Commenting on the launch, van Lent said that while thematic portfolios are a good source of concentrated growth, their narrow focus also means more concentrated risks – a risk that the solution aims to minimise.

“Investing in multiple themes broadens the sources of return over a much larger base that is diversified across economic sectors, industry value chains, end-market geographies, and even company size,” van Lent said.

Robeco further highlighted that the current global total assets under management for active thematic equities is over €400 billion, with an expected annual organic growth of more than 10 per cent.