Last updated: 17:26 / Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Past, present and future

Robeco’s first fund turns 80: all its living PMs discuss the reality of investing

Robeco’s first fund turns 80: all its living PMs discuss the reality of investing
  • Robeco NV was founded on 24 March 1933

Three centuries of investment experience round one table – an occasion that brought Robeco together for the 80th anniversary of the Robeco NV global equity fund. On Thursday 21 March 2013, the fund's former portfolio managers discussed the past, present and future. A lot has changed in 80 years. Where the first fund manager Lodewijk Rauwenhoff even sold participating units to clients from his bicycle, the current fund manager, Mark Glazener, requires an entire team to decipher the complex information flows. And yet a great deal remains the same. The quest for quality and low risk stocks is as apparent as ever.

Peter Ferket, Robeco's head of equity investment, questions the passionate investors – the oldest of which is 93 – on the daily reality of investing. At the table sat Mark Glazener, portfolio manager since 2003, and all his living predecessors: Jaap van Duijn (1995–2003), Izaak Maartense (1988–1995), Guus van Oostveen (1973–1993), Antony Bunker (1971–1983) and Donald van Raalte (1959–1971). Together they have managed the Robeco fund for more than 50 years. The first two fund managers – Lodewijk Rauwenhoff and Ewold Brouwer – are deceased.
Robeco NV was founded on 24 March 1933. This was the second milestone after the formation of the Rotterdamsch Beleggingsconsortium in 1929. What began as a club of wealthy Rotterdammers developed into one of Europe's largest investment funds, ensuring its survival from the crisis in the thirties. With investment company Robeco as its progeny, its post-war formula of internationally diversified investments in quality stocks became a major success.

What are the key differences in a fund manager's tasks between now and then?
Mark Glazener emphasizes the size of his equity team: “In the past, the fund was managed by a small number of people. Typically now we have a team of three portfolio managers and nine analysts that together administer the portfolio.

But what has stayed the same over those 80-years?
Mark Glazener points out that many things stayed the same in his fund: “Someone who buys a Robeco fund, buys a well-diversified portfolio of quality equities, leaving the investment decisions to those who face such matters daily and who buy and sell with care. This is not a fund for cowboys.”

You may access the complete interview through this link