'When everyone gives up, that’s when the challenge starts for me'

Jolanda Roos - Manager Risk Management Team and a mountain climber

Solving difficult puzzles

'When I was little, I wanted to join the police. Over the years, I became fascinated by detective series and documentaries on the Discovery Channel. I really wanted to be a forensic investigator. I get satisfaction from solving difficult puzzles and the more complex the better.  When everyone gives up, that’s when the challenge starts for me. I didn’t become a detective, but in my work at NN there are enough puzzles for me and my team to try and solve.’

Antennae for strategic challenges

'I’m a manager of the Risk Management Team for NN Non-life and Income. This arm of NN focuses on home and motor insurance and on insurance policies related to loss of income as a result of occupational disability or illness, for example. Our team is fully involved in projects at Non-life & Income, such as in the development of a new insurance policy. As an insurer, you need to take risks to generate a specific return, but these risks do need to stay within a predefined framework. Before a product comes to market, it’s reviewed from a legal and operational perspective, as well as from a financially strategic viewpoint. It’s a real puzzle with numbers and data. We identify the risks and weigh them up against the return. As a manager, my job is to get the team involved in projects on time. This means that I have to be up to speed with everything that’s going on inside and outside the business. My antennae are always on, looking for strategic puzzles that my team can tackle.’

Everything for the team

‘I started managing from an early age. I’m the oldest of three children. My brother and sister are twins and are a year younger than me. We grew up in the wonderful village of Baambrugge, where I spent many summers on the Vinkeveense lakes. My father was a lorry driver and often away from home, which meant that my mother had to look after three children on her own. So, I helped with all kinds of practical things, such as cooking. My role in the family has unconsciously made it easy for me to take charge, particularly in practical ways. I’m a rational person and always looking for solutions, including in my work.’

‘I manage a team of ten, who are all professionals and know what they’re talking about. So, I don’t have to tell them how to do their jobs, but I do ensure that they have the space to do their work properly. I give them a vision by placing their activities in a wider context, the higher goal. What does the customer gain from it? What does it contribute to? I like to challenge people to get more out of themselves and am not easily pleased with an average performance. I look on from the side-lines, but like to get involved when needed. It’s part of who I am to feel responsible for the wider picture; for the team, but also for NN. I’m really proud when we develop a product that genuinely helps customers.’

From Kilimanjaro to the Vinkeveense lakes

'My drive to achieve goals and the responsibility I feel for the team and NN mean that basically I’m always working. I do try to switch off every now and then. For example, in January this year I climbed mount Kilimanjaro. I did it on my own, but did have a team of porters and a guide. Their mission was to get me to the summit and they did it. It was an amazing experience. Life there was so simple: rucksack on, shoes on, and off you go . I can find the same feeling of peace closer to home, on the small island on the Vinkeveense lakes that I bought with my sister. It was a childhood dream. We don’t have anything there, but it feels as though we have everything. As soon as I get on the boat to travel to the island, I switch off. I need this relaxation to be a good manager for my team and to get fulfilment from my work.’


Meet our risk colleagues