Last week, our PensionTech summit, hosted by KPMG at their headquarters in Amstelveen, was a complete success! With a full house, attendees heard from experts in the fields of technology and pensions, some new ideas from our members, an interesting panel discussion about the future of the pension industry, and the intervention of the brother of the king, Prince Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau.
On Friday the 2nd of June, KPMG hosted our first PensionTech Summit ever at their auditorium in Amstelveen. With almost 300 attendees, the event kicked off with an insightful introduction from our CEO Don Ginsel and KPMG CEO Albert Roëll. They spoke about the current state of the pension industry and the disruptive role that technology will have in this important aspect of post-work life. As people have longer life expectancies, in part thanks to technology, it is important for the pension industry to be open to the opportunities that technology can bring to the sector. With that in mind, Albert Roëll emphasised that the objectives of the industry should be to help clients, give something back to society, and provide trust.
Following the introduction, experts from the pension world gave insights into the actual pensions landscape. The first speaker was Jerome Breen, managing director of Actuarial Association, who stressed that the ageing population and the shift of wealth between generations are issues that directly touch the pension sector, and that they should be taken seriously. He also described the current state of pensions in the Netherlands and how it is moving towards a more warm and particularistic state.
The second speaker was Janwillem Bouma, a member of de federation of Dutch pension funds. He emphasised stated that the future is no longer on the hands of traditional players, and that technology, sooner or latter, will disrupt pensions. He also mentioned the importance of the different sets of values between generations and the challenges that this has to the industry.
The last speaker was Paolo Sironi, fintech thought leader at IBM Watson. Paolo mentioned that banks in the western world are shifting from offering transactions to offering services. He also stated that the complexity of the pension world provides space for technology to simplify the paradigm and take pensions to the next level.
After a brief coffee break, Don Ginsel introduced some of our members. The first startup to pitch was Matchinglink. Their managing partner and co-founder, Joris Heijting, presented their software, which allows asset managers to keep track of transactions and portfolios. He explained how this will help pensions funds to work better.
Pieter van Schijndel then presented a new tool called ALICE, developed by Symetrics and Floxx. This tool centralises large amounts data in real time in a structured and understandable way. It allows parties to better communicate the information, and it is cost effective. Finally, Edzko Smid, owner of Bridgevest, presented Robo Pension Coach, an initiative to use AI to assist in the investment life of consumers. The initiative can help consumers with risk management and decision making so they can achieve a happy retirement.
Following the pitching, senior manager at KPMG Dennis de Vries described what blockchain can contribute to the pension world. Dennis stressed the importance of the digitalisation of assets and how this will play a key role in the future of pensions. PIVOT, a pension integrator built during a blockchain hackathon, was also presented.
The next part of the summit featured a panel moderated by the director of KPMG’s retirement advisory, Pieter Kieveron. Among the panellists were the outsourcing and innovation manager at Pensioenfonds Zorg in Welzijn, Peter Bannink; the director of pensions of ASR, Fleur Rieter; jury member at Health & Wellbeing and director of innovation at APG, Joep Beukers; chairman of KPS’ Innovation Workgroup, Tim Burggraaf; and the head of client solutions at Kempen Capital Management, Gerard Roelofs. The panel featured interaction with attendees and sparked some interesting discussions about the nature of change in the pension industry and the role that technology plays in it.
Finally, on behalf of Startup Delta, Prince Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau raised some interesting points regarding the importance of innovation in a regulated environment, and how to deal with newcomers without casting costumers aside. He also stressed the importance of being open to the opportunities that technology can bring to the industry, and emphasised that being aware of the disruptive nature of innovation can help the pension world move forward.
HERE ARE SOME VISUALS OF LAST FRIDAY’S PENSIONTECH SUMMIT
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