I started working for NN four years ago, when it was on the verge of separating form ING and becoming its own listed company as NN Group. Who knew that in those four years we would experience an IPO, strategy overhaul, market acceleration and consolidation? Never a dull moment and it will keep on moving exponentially! What we have learned from these experiences, as well as from interacting with our peers, markets and competitors, is that we cannot fully predict the future, so the only thing we can do is be ready for different scenarios that may present themselves.
After my studies at the Erasmus University I started at ING as a management trainee. I wanted to work for an international company, as a generalist and as well participate in a training programme. Quite soon after I joined ING Direct, which we grew from scratch to a business of 21 million customers. In fact the largest Dutch fintech was built by a corporation! I lived and worked in the UK and France for ING, and really enjoy working in international environments where things need to be built. When I was young I wanted to be an architect, so it is probably no coincidence that I always end up in jobs where things need to be built: visions, companies, people, growth. joined NN as Head of Commerce for the international business, which brought me back exactly to that kind of environment, as NN operates in many countries. Meeting fantastic people from different countries is truly an enriching experience. Then, a year ago I started as Chief Innovation Officer, as NN wanted to focus on innovating our customer experience and build the business of the future. Innovation is becoming increasingly embraced by the company. We are setting up labs around the world to test new concepts; we are finding ways to accelerate our time to market and making sure that our people can find the entrepreneur in themselves.
I am very passionate about the topics that we as a company can impact: affordable living, safety, employability, and namely helping people secure their financial futures. I have two daughters and I want them to have as many chances as possible, and in my role I can clearly see how what we do impacts future generations. There are a number of causes that I actively support in a broader context, which encompass making sure the next generation does not have to find a new planet to live on, and having diverse decision makers in various places (they might be linked ?).
On a personal level, if I were to think about one ability I would love to possess, I would love to able to fly. Not in a plane, but just to be able to ‘lift of’. Who knows, that might soon be possible! See you in the sky…
Chief Innovation Officer