‘I’ve worked as an asset manager since the 1990s, including at Mn Services and ABN AMRO. In 2016, I started to work at Delta Lloyd Asset Management, where, just like here, we managed our own and third-party assets, although on a smaller scale. As a result of Delta Lloyd and NN Group joining forces, since 1 January 2018, I’ve been working at NN Investment Partners.’

‘In the summer, I was appointed head of the Innovation and Responsible Investing Platform. This department doesn’t manage assets, but provides services to the investment teams, with the aim of improving the performance of the portfolios for our customers. In the work we do, we focus on investment technology, behavioural science and responsible investing.’

Innovation
‘Investment technology is about innovation: how can we use new technology, such as artificial intelligence and data and machine learning to achieve our goal? We use behavioural science to help us better understand how financial markets behave. This is primarily about sentiment. For example, if there is an escalation in trade conflicts between countries, the financial markets anticipate this immediately, without this having to be reflected in the figures straight away. To predict and anticipate this behaviour, we also use data and machine learning. We are heavily involved in responsible investing, which involves integrating the ESG factors (Environment, Society, Governance) into our investment decisions.’

Responsible investing
‘NN IP’s explicit ambition is to be a leader in responsible investing. We are determined to achieve our goal. We are currently identifying how we want to achieve this position, but we also have challenging aspirations in the field of behavioural science. This is because we’re also looking at the behaviour of our own investment professionals. After all, they make decisions. We’re asking ourselves how we can improve their decision-making processes, so that ultimately, they are also able to make better decisions. Since the 1970s, we’ve known that there are a lot of biases. A bias is line of thought in which the brain is influenced by irrational ideas. This bias has a significant impact on our decision-making processes. We’re currently conducting bank-wide research along with a few leading players, to find out what the decision-making processes look like in the brain. We’re using new computer technology called functional MRI that shows this brain activity.’

Dynamic & international
I really enjoy working for NN IP. First of all, we are a commercial organisation, and this is reflected in the allocation of assets. Some of these assets belong to our own NN Group and the rest to third parties. Commerce means trade, customer contact and competition and that delivers a special dynamic. In addition, NN IP is truly international. We have people from different cultures working here, which makes the business very exciting. Furthermore, it’s a company with opportunities, in terms of breadth and depth: there are a lot of different jobs and you also have the chance to specialise. Finally, NN IP is a business that is changing. We have a new Board, which is very driven to achieve great ambitions. And that generates positive energy!’

Arnoud Diemers, Head of Innovation and Responsible Investing Platform, NN Investment Partners