Case Study

Rabobank and Robeco Group: Background on Rabobank

11 pages
September 1995
Reference: IMD-3-0551

In early 1990, the Chairman of Rabobank Nederland, one of the largest Dutch banks which traced its origins back to the late 19th century when it was established as a cooperative to relieve the hardship of Dutch farmers, entered into discussions with the President of the Robeco Group, the country’s leading independent investment management company, to explore the possibility for a potential alliance. While Rabobank, with its extensive network of fairly autonomous local banks, held a dominant position in the savings market and in financing small and medium-sized business, it had foundered in the investment business, currently holding only about 2.5% of this market. One idea put forth in a December 1989 discussion paper was to team up with an expert in the industry who would promote Rabobank’s investment funds.

Keywords
Organizational Structure, Banking
Settings
Netherlands
1990
Type
Field Research
Copyright
© 1995
Available Languages
English
Related material
Teaching note
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This case study is part of a series
  • Rabobank and Robeco Group: Background on Rabobank
  • Rabobank and Robeco Group: Background on the Robeco Group
  • Rabobank and Robeco Group: Giving life to the joint venture
  • Rabobank and Robeco Group: The negotiation
  • Rabobank and Robeco Group: The outcome of the negotiation
This case study is part of a series
  • Rabobank and Robeco Group: Background on Rabobank
  • Rabobank and Robeco Group: Background on the Robeco Group
  • Rabobank and Robeco Group: Giving life to the joint venture
  • Rabobank and Robeco Group: The negotiation
  • Rabobank and Robeco Group: The outcome of the negotiation
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Rabobank and Robeco Group: Background on the Robeco Group
By Mary Rose Greville and Joyce Miller
Case reference: IMD-3-0552 ©1995
Summary
In early 1990, the President of the Robeco Group entered into discussion with the Chairman of Rabobank Nederland, one of the largest Dutch banks, to explore the possibility for a potential alliance. Historically, Robeco had been a conservative marketer, relying on banks and stockbrokers to sell its products. However, when the Dutch banks began offering their own funds in the early 1970s and sales of its flagship fund slumped, Robeco was forced to become more of a hustler and an innovator. Following the arrival of a new president in 1987, the company was again revitalized, adding both marketing and information systems capabilities to become one of the leading independent investment management companies in the Netherlands. Deriving 70% of its funding from Dutch investors, Robeco currently dominated the domestic investment market. However, the performance of several Robeco funds had been stagnating for some time, and top management was feeling increasing urgency to broaden the company's cashflow and to find an "impulse" to get things going again.
Reference IMD-3-0552
Copyright ©1995
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Available Languages English
Contact

Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Rabobank and Robeco Group: Giving life to the joint venture
By Mary Rose Greville and Joyce Miller
Case reference: IMD-3-0555 ©1995
Summary
In the summer of 1990, a committee was formed to work on developing an organizational structure for the joint venture, IRIS, that would operationalize the co-operation between Rabobank and the Robeco Group. IRIS was to be located in Rotterdam in existing Robeco facilities beginning January 1, 1991, housing up to 150 people. Two co-directors, who had been part of the original task forces, were designated to represent the interests of each mother organization. Only 87 of the 120 Rabobank people, who were qualified to enter the joint venture, accepted the move. One of the early challenges was to bring the cultures of the two parent organizations together and to build a new IRIS culture. By the end of 1991, the joint venture appeared to be running smoothly. Robeco was experiencing an increase in revenues that could be directly attributed to IRIS, and the local Rabobanks also seemed relatively happy with the prospect of having a new jointly-developed product available in the near future. However, some areas in the joint venture still needed work. For instance, it was becoming increasingly clear that the necessary linkages between IRIS and Robeco marketing were not always being made.
Reference IMD-3-0555
Copyright ©1995
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Available Languages English
Contact

Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Rabobank and Robeco Group: The negotiation
By Mary Rose Greville and Joyce Miller
Case reference: IMD-3-0553 ©1995
Summary
Following discussions between the Chairman of Rabobank and the President of the Robeco Group, two task forces were set up to do further background work and conduct preliminary talks during the spring of 1990. Now, in early May, each side was about to enter the final stage of negotiations regarding a potential alliance.
Reference IMD-3-0553
Copyright ©1995
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Available Languages English
Contact

Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Rabobank and Robeco Group: The outcome of the negotiation
By Mary Rose Greville and Joyce Miller
Case reference: IMD-3-0554 ©1995
Summary
In May 1990, Rabobank and the Robeco Group announced their intention to enter into a lasting strategic alliance. With the guiding principle that this co-operation would focus on offering investment products and services as well as investment research and product development, a Steering Committee, consisting of the original members of both task forces plus two additional representatives from each of the mother organizations, made the decision to form a joint venture that would officially start on January 1, 1991. The expectation was that within one year, the joint venture would be standing on its own and within two years, it would be covering its own costs.
Reference IMD-3-0554
Copyright ©1995
Copyright owner IMD Copyright
Available Languages English
Contact

Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications