Posted inBusiness moves

Robeco sets up team in China

The advisory type wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) structure allows the Dutch asset manager to conduct on-the-ground research on A-shares and service institutional clients.

The firm’s Shanghai office now comprises a two-member research team and three sales staff. Jie Lu, head of research in China and Lin Tang, research analyst, have been relocated to the new office from Hong Kong.

“The China research team will focus on A-share investment research and will provide advice to Robeco portfolio managers globally,” the firm said, adding it is looking to hire another research analyst.

Michael Lu, head of Greater China institutional sales, is also based in Shanghai.

Robeco obtained a WFOE license in November last year but completed the operational setup only recently.

However, unlike the investment management or asset management type of license, as granted to JP Morgan Asset Management in September and others including Aberdeen, Fidelity and US hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, Robeco cannot sell offshore products directly to mainland investors, nor manage onshore money.

Robeco can “deal directly with local institutional investors in terms of introducing Robeco’s global product offerings in the form of mandates and locally-domiciled products sponsored by local institutions or [fund] managers, but not for launching local products,” a spokeswoman noted.

The firm “will be actively looking into new business areas such as the Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership (QDLP) scheme,” which can sell offshore products to qualified onshore investors.

In 2009, Robeco set up a joint venture with TEDA International (Holding) Corporation and launched Robeco TEDA Sustainable Private Equity Fund. TEDA, an investment arm under Tianjin government, also partnered with Manulife to set up Manulife TEDA Fund Management.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.