'The driving force behind my studies and career is undoubtedly my father'

Samy Saleh -
​​​​​​​Compliance Officer, son and soccer player

The life lessons from my father

'As a four-year old boy I scored an own goal during one of my first matches. I cried because it felt as though I’d failed. It was my father who comforted me. He said: “It doesn’t matter, next time you’ll find the right goal.” That event symbolises two things in my life that have really shaped me: my father and football.’ 

‘The driving force behind my studies and career is undoubtedly my father. He motivates me, but can also be critical. He encouraged me to continue investing in myself. My father has lived in different countries, which meant that he often had to adapt to a new culture and situation. In the 1970s, he was able to go and study. He often says: “Life doesn’t always go to plan, and there are always bumps in the road, but you have to keep on trying to find the strength to carry on.”’

‘My father is a great source of inspiration and his life lessons have helped me in my development. Thanks to him, I understand how valuable, or even necessary , it is to continue developing and learning throughout life. At NN, I’m given the space to do that. As an example, I’m currently doing a master’s in Investment Management at the VU Amsterdam alongside my job.’

From observing from the side-lines to leading and encouraging

'Football has been my big passion since I was a child. It’s taught me to collaborate, communicate, win, but also lose and handle setbacks. I’m the connector in a team. As a mid-fielder, I maintain an overview and am able to persuade. My football skills also come in handy at work. As a Compliance Officer, I bring different parties and interests together, give advice and help people get on the right track. It starts with observing from the side-lines and ends with a good outcome for all stakeholders. Playing sports with a varied group of people has taught me to get on with lots of different characters. By communicating and listening carefully, I try and ensure that we are aiming for the same goal.’

The growing importance of ethics in financial services

'Compliance as a discipline has grown rapidly in recent years. Owing to the social role of financial service providers, more and stricter rules were imposed on them following the credit crisis. As a result, it was logical that there was also a need to monitor and help with compliance with legislation and regulation. I was studying public administration at Radboud university at the time of the financial crisis and decided then to contribute to recovering from and preventing another such crisis. After graduating, I started a temporary assignment at NN, where I was responsible for monitoring the rebalancing advice of unit-linked insurance policies. I then spent three years at Rabobank’s Market Abuse department. I became more and more interested in Compliance, ethics and the behavioural side of financial services. Combatting and preventing insider trading and market manipulation has become my specialty.’

Creating awareness and detecting risks

'My orange heart ensured a return to NN. Since 2018, I’ve worked as a Compliance Officer in Corporate Compliance. I’m involved in monitoring and creating awareness of the NN Insider Regulation, the Personal Trading Standard. This regulation sets out how NN employees should deal with insider trading and the obligations that stem from it. My role is all about creating awareness: ensuring that people are aware of the business risks that are inherent in the private trade in financial instruments. I also help draft and implement policy related to private transactions in financial instruments for insiders. I’ve achieved my goal if I and my team have ensured that everybody in the company knows the ‘rules’ about preventing insider trading and market manipulation and is aware of the risks. The greater good is for us as an organisation to act as a team. That’s in the interests of the entire organisation and even of society.’

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