Dutch fund house Robeco has opened an office in Singapore with a focus on credit research and strengthening its service to Southeast Asian clients, after receiving a licence in early July.

Maurice Meijers, client portfolio manager of fixed income for Asian markets, will head the office. He was previously based in Hong Kong.

He is joined by two credit analysts. Frank Reynaerts, senior credit analyst, until recently based in Rotterdam, will focus on Asian credit markets and has 20 years of experience. Robeco is in the process of hiring the second analyst and filling roles for investment, sales and client servicing for what will be initially a six-strong staff.  

Meijers reports to the fixed income team in Rotterdam, managed by Edith Siermann, chief investment officer for fixed income. 

Private banks, institutions and consultants will all be segments of focus for the branch. Nick Shaw, head of global financial institutions at Robeco, pointed to Singapore’s status as a global private banking hub. “The opening of a local Singapore office will allow us to better service our distribution partners and provide local support to institutional clients and consultants in the region,” he added.

The new office will add to branches in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. Hong Kong is home to Robeco’s Asia-Pacific equities investment team, and the Singapore branch will be an extension of the Rotterdam fixed income team. 

As at March 31, the firm had $299 billion in assets under management, of which 49% were institutional. 

A spokeswoman declined to provide information on whether it would be launching new fixed income funds in the region or which existing products it might introduce in the region. 

Robeco’s licence in Singapore allows it to sell funds to private banks and institutional clients and manage discretionary mandates for institutional investors. It does not plan to target the mass-retail market, said a spokeswoman.

She declined to comment on whether it had distribution partners in Singapore or planned to expand its distribution network there or elsewhere in Southeast Asia. 

Asked whether Robeco was intending to participate in the Asean Collective Investment Scheme or Asia Region Fund Passport cross-border programmes, she said it was unable to comment on any specific plans.