I became the Manager of Product management at Nationale-Nederlanden Bank’s Mortgages & Consumer credit division at the beginning of this year. I’m also a sponsor of the scrum teams on behalf of the management team within the agile domains of ‘Being a Customer’ and ‘Becoming a Customer’. Within our chain, we’ve divided activities into multiple domains, including the ‘becoming a customer’ domain (new customers) and the ‘being a customer’ domain (existing customers). In early 2017, we started the transition to an agile working environment within the chain. As part of the management team, I ensure that all teams within the ‘becoming a customer’ domain can work in a multidisciplinary way as efficiently and effectively as possible: these teams are staffed with product managers, business process managers, IT professionals, marketers, communication experts, and of course product owners across the board.
By using multidisciplinary teams, we’re improving how we work together, and we can achieve results more quickly. The teams work in short cycles in two-week sprints, during which it’s crystal clear who will do what and when, where the priorities lie and how much capacity is needed. This means that not only can they implement changes quickly, but they can also respond appropriately to current developments. Because the management can give the mandate to the teams, they also experience more responsibility. Employees are therefore in control here as much as possible!
Product management is the linchpin of the organisation. Our department is closely involved in the complex policy that involves turning our customers’ living requirements into reality. We also have to respond incredibly quickly to current market developments. Of course, in this position we have a lot of involvement with our external stakeholders, such as regulators and interest groups, and our internal stakeholders. Think of the Finance, Treasury and Risk departments, given that it’s about striking the right balance between risk and income, but also with the IT department, because our products need to be built into applications. And of course the operations departments, where we have to ensure that new products or adjustments are properly embedded, so that we can help our customers and intermediaries as much as possible.
I’ve worked in the financial sector for over 20 years now. I was head of Credit Risk Management at Nationale-Nederlanden Bank and I’ve held various positions, including at ING Wholesale Banking. Now my focus is on retail banking, or individual customers. My experience as a credit risk manager means that I can really build a bridge between risk management and the business. We work closely with various risk disciplines, such as credit risk, market risk and operational risk, and involve them at an early stage in our policy proposals so that we can make the right evaluations.
We’re currently working on a large number of new market propositions. Nationale-Nederlanden, for example, is known as a mortgage lender for customers who want to buy a new build. We want to put ourselves more prominently on the map. That’s why we have improved our conditions considerably. For individuals it’s a very attractive proposition to take out a new build mortgage with us. I think Nationale-Nederlanden is a ground-breaking company. We’re building scope for innovation. It’s not only something I see here, at Mortgages & Consumer Credit, but throughout the organisation. This innovation is not only reflected in new products and services, but also in the new way of working with empowered teams. It’s a great turning point and definitely an important reason why I enjoy working here so much.
Margot de Heus
Manager of Product management, Mortgages and Consumer credit