After his first year as Chairman of the Managing Board, Sikko van Katwijk answers 10 questions about his expectations, experiences and challenges.
"We strive to be the best administration bank for institutional investors; to provide the strictest controls, to build the most modern and secure management platform for investors and act as trusted custodian of our clients’ data."
15 Feb 2017
"We are a transparent organisation. We are not a counterpart, but support our clients to be in control. Our interests are aligned with those of our clients."Sikko van Katwijk
1. Tell us about your experience as chairman after one year.
KAS BANK is a unique company with a rich history. It is a tremendous honour to be responsible for leading this company. Over the past year we have made a lot of progress and made the necessary changes we needed across the business. In addition, we have defined a clear and exciting strategy with a challenging mission. Our team is motivated to meet the challenge together. As a lean organisation we face the challenges together every day and that is very rewarding. We also genuinely care about our clients. That’s unique these days. I feel privileged to be leading such an organisation!
2. What is the strategy?
We strive to be the best administration bank for institutional investors; to provide the strictest controls, to build the most modern and secure management platform for investors and act as trusted custodian of our clients’ data. This enables us to provide more and more back-office tasks for a variety of institutional investors. Our clients can then concentrate on investing and we stay in control of the administrative process for them.
3. What is an administration bank?
An administration bank is actually a smart custodian. We ensure that all the data elements of our institutional investors’ assets are kept safe, the investment portfolios are monitored and measured according to the guidelines of the client and that the investment performance is calculated properly. In addition, we connect the client to the entire global investment infrastructure. We also report in detail to investors and regulators and we make investment data available in a variety of ways. The best administration bank can offer smart administration and can also be trustworthy when it comes down to delivering data as a custodian.
4. How are you progressing?
Over the past year we have defined our ambitions and we worked out our plans until 2020 in detail. Thus, we have started well. So we put our processes under the microscope, we started data quality projects and we will shortly make the choice of the future platform. We are all working hard together to develop a strong culture. Obviously there is still much to do given our ambition, but we are already well on the way!
5. What are your priorities in 2017?
We have defined three priorities for 2017. First, we are going to improve our administration platform and expand our capabilities. In addition, we will renew processes and workflows through the use of digital technologies and robotics. This will result in better and quicker operational processing and, in addition, the output becomes more reliable.
Secondly, we continue to listen to our clients and make sure we consistently deliver a high quality service. We want to involve them in product development and to further improve our services. At present, the client satisfaction rate is 7.4, and we are aiming for a score of 8+ by increasing the quality of our services. This we will achieve, among other things, by giving our clients online access to quality products that they outsource to us.
The third important activity is to strengthen cooperation with partners. We are a true network bank, which is strong in maximising client value. In 2017 we will put more emphasis on developing this further.
Our people are one of our most important 'assets' and are special. This year we will invest further in developing our people. We will continue to motivate and train our staff accordingly.
6. Which clients are being served?
Our clients are typically all third-party collective asset holders. Our clients have the responsibility of managing collective assets and we support them with our services. We indirectly serve more than 5 million consumers.
Our clients are pension schemes and managers, insurance companies, investment funds, wealth / asset managers, (private) banks and securities dealers, family offices and charities.
7. In which countries are KAS BANK active?
Our service has global coverage, as our clients invest anywhere in the world and in all kinds of financial instruments. Our clients are mainly based in the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom. In the latter two countries we focus in particular on servicing pension schemes.
8. What is our financial status?
After a disappointing first half of 2016, we have performed better in the second half. Our full year results will be published soon. It is important that our banking ratios remain high. We are very solvent, liquid and with low risk.
In addition, Fitch in December 2016 reaffirmed our A- rating with a Stable outlook. Our stress testing is among the best in the Dutch banking sector.
9. What are your challenges?
Because of cost reductions and process improvements we had to say good-bye to some of our colleagues. That's not nice and it hurts. And if it was up to us, the interest rate would go up again, although we realise that the chance of outsourcing more back-office services to KAS BANK increases when there is pressure on interest rates.
10. What makes KAS BANK unique?
We are a transparent organisation; we do not undertake high-risk banking activities, and do not give unsecured loans. We finance short-term and only with sufficient collateral. We are not a counterpart, but support our clients to be in control. Our interests are aligned with those of our clients. We focus only on becoming the best administration bank. All our attention and energy go into making that happen, as it has already for over 200 years. This also means that we have to be on top of the developments that are important for our clients and constantly be ready to deliver high quality, up-to-date local services for them. And .... we are a smart custodian with strong principles (have a look at www.thecustodianprinciples.com)!