Robeco to Acquire Sage Capital

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (HedgeWorld.com)--In a bid to expand its funds of funds reach in the U.S. market, Rotterdam, Netherlands-based Robeco Monday announced plans to acquire Sage Capital Management LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The nine-year-old funds of funds shop manages about US$300 million in two pooled multi-manager funds--one aimed at the high-net-worth market and the other at institutional investors.

No changes are planned for the existing funds, but new multi-manager vehicles may be on the horizon within the next six months, according to Robert Friedman, a partner at Sage.

"The deal made sense for us on a number of levels," he said. "Years ago, there really were very few long/short equity managers in Europe and the U.K. But that's changed, and you've seen the emergence of a number of European managers in just the last few years," Mr. Friedman added. "The deal will allow us to build a really global fund of funds business, allowing us to expand."

Acquiring Sage will also extend Robeco's reach by giving the 104.5 billion euros asset manager a ready-made doorway to the U.S. funds of funds market. The deal also builds on the firm's existing alternative investment base, which includes Robeco's other hedge fund subsidiary Weiss, Peck & Greer.

Both Sage and Weiss, Peck & Greer are expected to be rolled up into a newly formed group called Robeco USA, which will be headed by Nassos Michas.

"When we started Sage nine years ago, hedge funds and fund of funds were still gaining acceptance in the institutional world, but it was still mostly high-net-worth investors. Over the last three years, we've seen that acceptance accelerate. Just look at assets under management in the industry, which have gone up five times over that period," Mr. Friedman said.

"The case for fund of funds was for them to manage volatility and to show they could hold up in difficult markets. Well, over the last three years, you've seen the Dow and Nasdaq nosedive while fund of funds have held their own. I think that wins the argument for investors as to whether fund of funds make sense," he said.

Sage Capital Management has nine employees. In addition to Mr. Friedman, senior staffers at the firm include Anne Farrell, Peter Levy, Tim Stewart and Ronald Tauber. The firm will maintain its entire staff and keep its offices based in White Plains, N.Y.

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