Information systems that assist asset managers
Friday, December 15, 2017
Anneke Schings is the Functional Lead of the Alternative Investments Domain within APG Asset Management. As a business analyst, she considers business challenges, proposes solutions and liaisons between the business and technology.
What does a typical day at the office look like for you?
My days are quite diverse. From a functional perspective, I constantly communicate with stakeholders about business needs and challenges. From a technical perspective, I dive into the solution design of information systems.
Currently, I am managing the implementation of the eFront product FrontInvest, which is the system we use to track and manage alternative investments across all private markets. Our offices in the Netherlands and across the globe all have a stake in this platform’s success. Because of this, we are working hard to evaluate and evolve the system as we introduce it.
Within this project, I am also involved in project and financial planning. Within our department, my team is also piloting the agile method of working. This is an entirely new and more effective way of working, so it is very exciting! As you can see, I do a wide variety of things on a day-to-day basis, which is what I love most about my job: it’s never boring.
Did you always intend to work in digital technology?
Not at all! When I finished university, I began an APG traineeship that focused on processes, systems and pension matters. At that time, the company was in the midst of developing a web portal for pension fund participants, and I became involved in the technical side almost by accident. One of the things I really enjoyed about the project was how it combined technology with business administration.
After this experience, I began to broaden my career horizons. I found that within APG alone, there were so many roles sitting at the intersection between business and technology, and I’ve pursued these roles ever since. I like that they sometimes go very deep into the technical side of systems and technologies, but they always tie back to strategic business concerns.
What is it like to work at APG Asset Management?
APG is a large company, and employees have plenty of room to grow. For example, I started in rights management a decade ago, and today I work in an entirely different branch of the company.
Employees at APG have the chance to explore different departments, figure out what they like and gradually grow towards a role that suits their interests. In my experience, if you stand out and go for the roles you want, APG will give you opportunities to succeed.
What advice do you have for young professionals as they transition from university into the working world?
One of the most common behaviours I see in the office, especially amongst new colleagues, is a fear of asking questions. My advice is when you start a job and don’t know something, just ask! Just by asking a lot of questions, you can develop a knowledge baseline that will inform you later in your career. Especially as you start out, absorb as much information as possible.
Do independent research, attend trainings, participate in programmes. All of this will prepare you for success.