In a short interview with Kees-Jan (Partner at Boer & Croon) we uncover his unique background and insights into the dynamic world of Finance & Technology. With a lot of experience in finance and technology, Kees-Jan brings a wealth of knowledge to his role.
Can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us who you are?
'First, I studied economics and pursued a post-master's degree in finance investments. I've had various roles, including portfolio manager and risk manager for pension funds.
I have worked for 14 years at PGGM. Besides PGGM, I've worked as a consultant, an American consulting company called Archstone, and had projects with companies like Sara Lee and O'Neill. In addition, I enjoy coaching and helping people progress.
I love sports, hiking, cycling, and water sports. Having friends and family around me brings me joy.'
Developments in Finance & Technology
What are the key developments you see in the Finance & Technology sector, and how do you envision these developments evolving in the coming years?
'In my opinion, it's more of a discipline than a sector. The roles of CFOs, CTOs, and CIOs have significantly changed. Previously, the focus was on looking backward, but now the emphasis is on looking to the future, predicting trends, and risk management becoming increasingly important. IT plays a crucial role, along with assessments of ESG factors. Finance and risk management have become increasingly vital. In this era of greater uncertainty, CIOs, CFOs, and CTOs need to be able to anticipate and be flexible.
In finance, important themes include sustainability, digitalization, and pension contracts. Compliance with financial sector regulations and pension sector regulations is crucial for the license to operate and plays a more significant role than in other disciplines.
The evolution involves embracing change and future-oriented thinking. A significant trend is the scarcity of resources. Society is rapidly changing, and companies need to function effectively within this context. Data is becoming increasingly important. Consultants in Finance & Technology play a pivotal role in adapting to and leveraging these changes.'
How does your team respond to the rapidly changing Finance & Technology discipline, and how do you adapt to these changes?'
'There are two aspects to our service offerings (Finance & Technology), which can be divided into four parts: transformation, digitalization, optimization, and ESG. Transformation involves being ready for the future and undergoing comprehensive changes. Optimization focuses on incremental changes. Digitalization and ESG have positioned our team with a compelling proposition.'
How does your team ensure that your Finance & Technology solution stays up-to-date with the latest developments and technologies?'
'We achieve this through a combination of factors. Firstly, our team consists of smart and knowledgeable individuals who stay up-to-date with relevant programming and data skills. They have a solid understanding of new technologies and finance models, even if they don't necessarily perform the programming themselves. Secondly, we combine these individuals with experienced professionals who possess the necessary expertise to handle complex projects. Both aspects are necessary because the world is changing at an increasing pace, but the changes occur in steps rather than suddenly. We value a practical and proactive approach.'
Why Finance & Technology
What is the market proposition of your Finance & Technology solution, and how do you differentiate yourself from other players in the market?
'Our proposition must stand out from our competitors. We excel in understanding the ABCs (the fundamentals) of the field. Our team embodies the culture of Boer&Croon, characterized by rolling up our sleeves, standing beside the client rather than observing from a distance, and helping them achieve their goals. We focus on delivering tangible results, we prioritize what truly matters to our clients.'
Which target audience do you focus on with your Finance & Technology solution, and how do you anticipate these target audiences evolving in the future?'
'We don't narrow down our target audience. Finance and technology are not limited to a specific sector but encompass a wide range of financial and IT functions in both the public and private domains. However, we do concentrate on projects and companies of a certain scale. We have an extra focus on the financial sector, including banks, pension funds, insurers, and other relevant organizations. Why? Because transforming and digitalizing roles in the financial and IT sectors present significant challenges. We aim to help CTOs, CFOs, and CEOs navigate these changes.'
The future of Finance & Technology
How do you envision the future of the Finance & Technology sector, and how do you anticipate your team will innovate and grow in response? What are the growth expectations for this discipline?
The pace of digitalization is accelerating, with technological advancements opening up new possibilities. Combined with an environment of uncertainty and increased volatility, the factors that drive change are gaining momentum. We are only at the beginning of what the future holds, considering developments like artificial intelligence.
There is substantial growth potential, such as analysing financial statements, current profits, and utilizing data insights. The finance function is becoming more data-driven, requiring the expertise of talented individuals. Sharpening our focus is essential. Significant changes in technology and data are expected, and the demands will increase. This presents an exciting opportunity for our Finance & Technology solution to play a pivotal role.
There are opportunities to leverage technology, gain data insights, and promote sustainability. On the other hand, there are risks associated with regulatory non-compliance, cyber threats, and using inaccurate data. Our Finance & Technology solution can help mitigate risks while seizing opportunities.
The F&T discipline is poised for growth, which is positive. Boer&Croon is well-positioned and continually improving to capture this growth. We began our journey with the so-called expedition, and if we successfully navigate it, we will be prepared for future expansion!
Get it done
Is there anything else you would like to share?
With a financial background, I've encountered numerous concepts that are currently being taught in universities but have yet to be fully implemented. It is our role to help companies utilize these concepts and combine the knowledge of young talents with the expertise of experienced professionals. It's the perfect combination that Boer&Croon offers.