Maarten Slendebroek  - Chairman of Robeco’s Supervisory Board.  

Episode 25,   Jan 21, 2021, 05:30 AM

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Maarten Slendebroek is currently Chairman of Robeco’s Supervisory Board, the Dutch investment powerhouse, former CEO of Jupiter PLC , and prior to that, member of Blackrock’s global operating committee.

Maarten describes his Dutch/Swedish upbringing, studying Law at the University of Leiden, and from there to finance, beginning as an equity analyst at the emergence of individual European company research. He describes his journey through Merrill Lynch and then Blackrock. Then, in the aftermath of the 2008 Great Financial Crisis how he responded to Larry Fink’s request that he drive Blackrock’s Aladdin platform, initially in conjunction with the UK Treasury, to help analyse pools of complex debt securities. This proved invaluable to Blackrock’s subsequent growth given the troubled asset portfolios held at UK and European Financial Institutions which in many cases were too complex to unravel by the existing management teams.

Maarten describes his decision later to go to Jupiter where he became CEO and discusses the challenge of scale and specialisation in asset management. He analyses what is needed to be successful in this rapidly-evolving industry, and the challenge of being a listed asset management company in a market place where investors crave growth.

He then moves to Robeco, where he is currently Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Robeco, “the investment engineers”, has existed for nearly 100 years but now is a leader in active investing underpinned by an early and profound embedding of ESG and sustainable principles into their process. Maarten describes the active v passive, quant v orthodox and growth v value debates. The conversation drills down into factor investing and why Robeco has been recognised by peers and institutions such as Morningstar as an early mover and leader in ESG.

Maarten then talks about the post-Brexit Landscape for UK financial services, Europe’s path to Federalism and where he has been investing his own personal money, including a discussion on the UK Value opportunity. He then talks about Mintus, a Fintech venture he is invested in, which is seeking to create exchange-based liquidity allowing for fractional ownership, from real-estate to oil rigs to vineyards.

Finally Maarten gives some powerful insights from his experiences, set-backs, those who inspired him, through to advice for young people, the wines he loves and the two people he would chose to spend a day skiing with.