An ING change maker: leaving his comfort zone
Nicolas, tell us briefly about how you came to ING.
After my studies at the European Business School (EBS) in Oestrich-Winkel and the Frankfurt School of Finance, I started as a trainee at Commerzbank. I was able to gain experience there in the different areas of corporate customer business. Since I liked relationship management best, it quickly became clear to me that I wanted to further develop my career and expertise in customer advisory services.
In 2014, I joined ING as an Associate. At that time, I was particularly impressed by the spirit of optimism at the bank. All my colleagues were very motivated to successfully expand ING's still rather new corporate client business. I liked this attitude, because I like to get things done and to move them forward. At ING, I was also able to grow through pursuing numerous career opportunities, for example, by completing a Short-Term Assignment (STA) for three to six months in other departments, such as Corporate Lending and Capital Structuring & Advisory. So I have successfully laid the foundations to be able to move up to a Vice President and finally a Director position at ING.
You are now transferring from Frankfurt to our regional office in Munich? What led you to this decision?
In my early days at ING, I was particularly impressed by the fact that we initially established many customer relationships. The same task now awaits me in Munich, where I have the chance to establish new relationships with customers instead of "only" managing existing ones.
Bavaria – and above all the greater Munich area – is also a very attractive location with many successful medium-sized companies. ING's regional office plays an important role here and is in close proximity to potential customers. This is where I can get things done that will help the bank move forward and grow.
How are you settling in Munich?
I really like Munich as a city. In the past, I often traveled to the city privately, but also visited customers in the region again and again. This made it easier for me to feel at home quickly. And it is well known that Munich also offers a lot in terms of recreation: for example, the beer gardens, the Viktualienmarkt and, of course, the proximity to the Alps. As an enthusiastic skier, I particularly appreciate the latter.
But in general, I always find it exciting to discover a new city. During my career I have lived in Prague, London, Shanghai, Miami, Luxembourg and Frankfurt, and I spent much of my childhood in Ottawa and Toronto. These many locations have shaped me and also shown me that change can be something positive.
Do you have any advice for young professionals who are looking for a similar career to yours?
My advice is to consider your career as a marathon, not a sprint! Expect change, because nothing is as constant as change – but also expect setbacks. Even if something doesn't go as planned, new chances and opportunities often arise out of it.
That's why I can only recommend to always be open to new things, not to be afraid to question the status quo, and to push for changes. In other words: Do your thing!