‘In the late 1990s, I started my career as an equity analyst in the banking world, where I advised customers about their equity portfolio. In 2008, I made the switch to ING Investment Management, the predecessor of NN Investment Partners (NN IP) because I actually wanted to invest myself. I am currently head of a team of portfolio managers, analysts and data scientists.’

News analysis
‘When I get to the office, I start by analysing what’s happened during the previous evening and night. There’s always a stock market open somewhere in the world, which makes investing very dynamic. Have there been any developments that have an impact on our investments? Do we need to buy or sell? A couple of years ago, for example, Japan was hit by a tsunami that washed away a large section of the railway track. NN IP had invested in one of the Japanese rail companies and that night the share price had immediately fallen by around 20 percent. That’s when you have to decide whether to buy additional shares because they’ve dropped in price or whether to sell them because the business has been hit hard.’

View of market developments
‘After the analysis of the news, we have a morning meeting with all the portfolio managers and share analysts when we discuss the developments in all regions and sectors and decide whether we need to act. We also have frequent meetings with the management of companies in which we invest and of which we are essentially co-owners. I really enjoy talking to CEOs and CFOs about how they view the business. We also have regular meetings with sell-side analysts. These external advisers give us their view of market developments and what we should do for our equity portfolios.’

‘Another task is modelling businesses in which we invest. By conducting research and analyses, we try and predict a company’s future revenue and profit. We use this information to assess what we think the business should be worth, or whether the business is under or overvalued in the market and whether we need to buy or sell shares.’

New technologies
‘In recent years, new technologies have been emerging rapidly, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing and web scraping. The huge flow of data, that is made available as a result, can provide us with new and additional insights. As a team, we need to have the flexibility to integrate these innovative technologies into our business. To give you an example: Analysts in the Apple Store used to count how many customers visited the store. Customer numbers can, of course, tell you something about the performance of a business and its sales. Now, you can simply use satellite images or telephone signals to see how busy specific shops are, not just in a single Apple Store, but in hundreds of Apple Stores, and not just on one day, but every day. This is how we can build up a much better picture of the reality and we can ultimately make better investment decisions.’

Responsible Investment
‘Another important development is Responsible Investment, in which an attractive financial return and a positive impact on people, the environment and society go hand in hand. At NN IP, we’re convinced that you can integrate ESG factors (Environment, Society, Governance) into the investment outlook and improve the risk/return ratio.’

Diversity of thought
‘NN IP is a large asset manager. We have the scale, the tools, the research and the innovation capacity to work very professionally. NN IP is very international. For example, there are more than ten nationalities in my team, which gives us a diversity of thought, providing good and important dynamics to achieve better and more complete insights. Finally, the learning curve is very steep here. In short, at NN IP you can get the best out of yourself.’

Jeroen Bos, Head of Equities Specialties, member of the Management Team Investment, NN Investment Partners