Supervision specialist

Fit or unfit

“Banks are commercial enterprises, but they also have an undeniable function in society. Consumers and companies must have confidence in their banks. Our team is responsible for assessing the fitness and propriety of nominees for board positions with banks or payment institutions. Previously, a candidate's expertise was the primary criterion. In the wake of the financial crisis, we now also include integrity in our assessments along with behaviour and culture. We now look at a much more complete picture to decide if a candidate is fit and proper or not.

Alongside expertise and competencies, we weigh whether an individual has the mettle to withstand the boardroom dynamics of a particular institution. A proposed board member may very well be a genius in their field, but if they end up kowtowing to the other members, then their skills will go to waste. Part of the assessment consists of an interview of roughly 90 minutes in which we discuss a number of points of particular interest.

 I know for sure that DNB is eminently capable of changing the culture of the financial sector.

Eyes wide open

As a lawyer, it is crucial to be aware of the fact that there are truths other than the legal truth. When you work at DNB, you have to keep your eyes wide open. After completing degrees in law and business administration, I joined ING as a trainee, followed by a position in risk management at Rabobank. After that, I was an interim director of local Rabobank branches. While in that role, I attended eight meetings of the Supervisory Board, and I spent a lot of time in other boardrooms. All of this experience has served me very well in my current position at DNB, which is a true culmination of my career so far.

 Penetrating the complexities of finance, identifying the legal basis for corporate governance, exerting influence at the highest administrative level: it's all in a day's work. I very much enjoy the intricacies of my work, but I always endeavour to keep an eye on the big picture. You need broad experience to make solid decisions, and this is exactly why we at DNB are eager to find people with experience in the financial sector or law.

FinTechs and cryptos

Working at DNB, I go in depth into subjects that matter. It's a major responsibility, and everything we do has significant societal impact. If you want to work here you've got to be on the ball and be able to think for yourself. DNB facilitates you every step of the way. Some people may think that a 36-hour workweek is unconducive to peak performance. The truth is that high achievers need time to recharge their batteries.

I have to admit that I initially saw DNB as a stiff organisation that was resistant to change. The truth of the matter is, however, that working here means being on the very cusp of innovation and change. Now, for instance, we also assess candidates for board positions with FinTechs, such as for Uber's European payment service, which is currently in the licensing phase. Starting in 2022, crypto service providers will also need an formal licence, and we will start assessing their board members for fitness and propriety. I'm currently a member of a working group on cryptos together with experts on this topic who are getting me up to speed on the ins and outs of cryptocurrencies. This is a great example of the DNB way of doing things: we have so much expertise right here, that we can train our own people on almost any topic. With eighteen years of experience in the financial sector under my belt, I can honestly say that there's no better place to work than DNB.”

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