Insurance companies reporting under the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) will have to comply with the new IFRS 17 standard from 2022. This new standard has a major impact on existing financial reporting and on all financial systems and processes that underpin it. This means a transformation lasting many years: in the run-up to 2022 we need to implement solutions so that we comply with valid legislation and regulations on time and to improve the quality and efficiency of our IFRS reporting processes. As a manager in the Finance Transformation team, I manage the IFRS 17 team of around eight colleagues.
In practice, what I do is to consistently align everything and everybody because various changing systems and the people who work with them need to be able to communicate with one another. What we deliver not only has to meet the standard, but also has to be workable for head office and for my own Life business unit. And each has their own interests. Head office, for example, focuses on the figures, whereas in addition to figures, the business unit focuses on the efficiency of operational processes.
Logically, this means a tussle every now and then, but I’m learning a lot from it. The breadth of the project makes my work varied: the financial reporting requirements, the organisation of processes to meet those requirements and the multidisciplinary collaboration needed with our auditors, actuaries and IT staff, who are all pursuing their own goals.
Nationale-Nederlanden now faces other challenges. The insurance market is undergoing significant change. New competitors, new technologies, new customer requirements, new forms of insurance and low interest rates mean that we have to keep a very close eye on our earnings models and costs. At the same time, our stakeholders are demanding more and more of us and we show increasingly clearly that we’re in control.
When I started an internship at Nationale-Nederlanden during my econometrics degree in 2013, I asked myself: would I like to work here? But I quickly realised that the business was a good fit for me. That feeling was mutual, because in 2014 I was offered my first official job. I really enjoy working here. Nationale-Nederlanden is a business that values knowledge and expertise: if you know what you’re talking about, you’re taken very seriously. And although Nationale-Nederlanden is a large company, the barriers are low. As a student, I sat around the table with directors in a pleasant and collegial atmosphere.
Manager IFRS 17, Nationale-Nederlanden Life