‘Basically, I’ve got orange blood flowing through my veins, because a lot of my family members have worked at Nationale-Nederlanden: My father, my grandfather, two uncles and a cousin. I started to work here 11 years ago. After studying economics in Rotterdam, I worked briefly at the ‘Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek’ (Statistics Netherlands). Not surprising really because I have a great affinity with figures, but I soon realised that the world of statistics was too one-sided for me. That’s why I made the switch to the ministry of Finance, where I not only gained policy experience, but also practical experience in the dealing room with issuing bonds and dealing in derivatives.’

Linking pin
‘I started here as a trader, initially in government bonds and derivatives and then in corporate bonds, emerging markets and high-yield bonds. The world of traders is relatively small – it revolves around the investment portfolio and changes in it, but investment management is about more than just investing. That’s why I started looking around me. I wanted to stay close to investments, but also really value using relationships with people, both internally and externally to optimum effect. Now, I’m a Client Portfolio Manager, the linking pin between investors, who know the ins and outs of all investment strategies and my colleagues in marketing and sales, who know exactly what’s going on with the customer.’

In practice
‘My day-to-day work involves attracting and retaining customers. In practice, this means that I visit lots of customers and give presentations, write publications and work on reports and documents in which we explain our investment strategy or our view of a specific market development, for example. I also answer a range of questions from customers and prospects, for example, about the performance of their portfolio, or about the impact of specific geopolitical developments on the portfolio.’

Sustainable investment
‘We’re currently working on an intensive collaboration between the sustainable investment teams, the investors and our colleagues who advise pension funds, for example. Because how can you ensure that pension funds can meet their commitments by generating a large enough return without taking too many risks and at the same time being sensitive to sustainability? We work on one story with these teams. I’m really enthusiastic about it.’

‘The increasing demand for sustainable investment is a challenge, but definitely also an opportunity. How can you invest sustainably and also generate an attractive financial return? It’s a question I like to consider and one which ensures that investment management is not just about how you can make even more money with the money you have, but also about how you can deploy capital.’

Personal development
‘Investment managers can look at the breadth and the depth. We have a lot of investment strategies in which you can totally immerse yourself. And if it’s time for something new, there are countless other opportunities here. We work in specialist teams, which means that you can concentrate on what interests you and which gives you plenty of scope for your own investment outlook. These teams focus a lot on innovation. We look not only at financial balance sheets and market, but increasingly at behavioural finance, by screening social media, for example. How do people behave and what impact does this behaviour have on sentiment? We have various disciplines working together in our teams, which are often made up of experienced and new colleagues. There are investors, analysts, data scientists and investment specialists. We learn a lot from one another and are convinced that a mix like this results in successful investment solutions for our customers.’

Petra Stassen-van Lochem, Client Portfolio Manager, NN Investment Partners