Since September 2013
For me, the challenge is to contribute to a stable financial future, for ING and our customers alike.
Maths and economics were my favourite subjects at secondary school so it was a pretty natural progression to study econometrics. I did my master thesis on behalf of ING for the Risk Management department and I enjoyed myself so much that I’ve been here ever since. The end of my Risk traineeship is rapidly approaching. It’s great that I’ve not yet had to decide on just one job; I’ve been able to get a good overview of the broad spectrum of opportunities. Financial markets are really dynamic – they present you with a new situation every day. But the long-term developments tend to be the ones with potentially the biggest impact so it’s important not to allow yourself to become too distracted by the day-to-day issues. Needless to say, I love being able to immerse myself in the subject matter and to do econometric analysis and modelling. For me, the challenge is to contribute to a stable financial future, for ING and our customers alike.
London: a unique experience
I’ve done two rotations as part of my traineeship. The first one was in Amsterdam, in the Credit Risk Measurement department which builds models that predict customers’ financial situations. The models are used when making credit decisions, for example, to keep the risks acceptable for both the customer and ING. I did various projects within that department, ranging from developing a new model for government bonds to improving a method for back-testing existing models. For my second rotation I worked in the Trading Risk department in London where I monitored dealers acting on behalf of ING and ING’s customers. I had to analyse the existing risks and make sure that all risks taken were responsible ones. My focus was on emerging markets, in Eastern Europe and South America for instance. Thanks in particular to the day-to-day buzz and excitement, London was a unique experience. That’s where I discovered first-hand how each development has an impact on the markets...how everything is interconnected. It was a terrific learning experience.
Modelling and hedging
I’m currently working as a Quantitative Analyst in the Balance Sheet Risk department in Amsterdam. In this role, I’m responsible for modelling and hedging interest rate risk on products such as mortgages and savings. A key part of my work is predicting customer behaviour: when will they pay off their mortgage early, or when will they make a withdrawal from their savings? That can be tricky, but thanks to good data analysis we can make fairly accurate estimates at group level. ING is one of the biggest savings banks in Europe so our models involve colossal amounts of money. That level of responsibility adds an extra dimension to my work.
Interested and inspired
My Risk traineeship will come to an end in six months’ time, but I’ll never reach the point where I feel like I know it all; ING offers every opportunity to continue learning. That starts with the Global Learning Events during your traineeship where you learn about the basic banking principles. In addition there’s a programme of specific training courses, such as for Chartered Financial Analyst I to III. I’ve also attended courses on soft skills. But the learning doesn’t stop when your traineeship ends. There are still so many possibilities for training courses and further study afterwards, and they don’t necessarily have to be related to your line of work – you can also decide to move in a different direction. That gives me the chance to continue to do different things, which really appeals to me because I don’t think I’m quite ready to specialise in one particular area just yet. So it’s ideal for me that ING offers so many options, and I’m sure there’s plenty to keep me interested and inspired here for years to come!
Pim Hanssen is 26 years old and lives in Utrecht, where he regularly meets up with his old university friends from Groningen for meals or drinks. He makes a point of making time for sport: he regularly heads out on his road bicycle or for a run and also takes part in rides and recreational races. He uses Strava to keep in touch with like-minded athletes, including within ING (Run@ING), and if all goes according to plan he will be participating in an ING Bootcamp in the near future. He is a busy man who also has political aspirations, as a member of the D66 party – ‘I’m not actively involved yet but who knows, maybe later.’ On the rare occasion that Pim has some spare time on his hands he enjoys reading up on topics related to popular science or financial/economic matters.
Tim Slingerland - Risk Trainee
'Two master’s qualifications are valuable, but my motivation counted for more'