Senior Supervisor National Insurance Groups
Building in one place
‘After getting my degrees in business administration and investment management, I decided to enter the world of consultancy. For a while, it was interesting to move from one client to the next, starting from scratch each time. But then the desire to build something in one place took over. I wanted to be able to grow. Plus, looking out for others was an integral part of my upbringing, so I’ve always felt more attracted to social issues. An acquaintance got me in contact with DNB, and I joined the National Insurance Groups department as a supervisor in 2011.
The complex world of insurance
Why insurances? Because you contribute to the protection of ordinary people. When I had just joined DNB, I took a walk on the Albert Cuyp market one day, and asked some people: do you ever worry about your insurance? Whether or not they will pay enough when something happens? I got the same answer every time: no, I’m not worried. It doesn’t occur to them that an insurer might have insufficient capital. Which is exactly what supervision is about: mitigating risks that most people aren’t aware of.
In addition, working in this specific industry is complex and the scale is massive. I get to supervise the largest insurers in the Netherlands, some of them with over 10,000 employees. Take the project I was working on for about two years until last year, for instance. A large insurance group was put up for sale by its Chinese shareholder. DNB has to get involved at an early stage because we are the ones assessing the potential new owner. When such a large number of Dutch insurance customers is involved, you want to make sure the buyer meets all requirements. I was fortunate enough to manage the process as a project leader, while writing lots of memos for the board, attending meetings and conducting interviews with various international parties, law firms and corporate finance advisors. Dealing with such a large number of stakeholders, involved in a sale like this, is extremely interesting.
As a supervisor, you contribute to the protection of ordinary people.
New supervision methodology
The large insurer that changed ownership now falls under my daily supervision. Plus, I am working with great intensity on a new supervision methodology that will be implemented DNB-wide – except when it comes to supervising major banks because they are governed by different legislation. We need a new methodology because the world around us is constantly changing and you want your supervision to remain efficient and effective. For that reason, we have increased our focus on data-driven supervision. It is safe to say that DNB is a front-runner in that regard. Very recently, for example, I presented our new methodology online to central banks all across the globe. This was mostly a session for me to share a lot of knowledge and experience: how do we do things here? And what issues do we run into?
I enjoy collaborating with people and making them better at what they do. That is why I would like to take on a management role in the future, and DNB offers a special track for people with that ambition: the ‘Vernieuwd Leiderschap Ontwikkelingstraject’ (Vlot) [Renewed Leadership Development Track]. For now, supervising insurers remains sufficiently challenging, but I will start looking for a different position as soon as comfort kicks in. Being open about your ambitions is something that is greatly appreciated and stimulated here. What sparks my interest is supervision policy or the sustainability section, which is still in early stages of development. I am at my best when I get to express my creativity. And DNB allows for that more than I thought.’
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