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The Pensiontech Summit: road to the second summit

This year, the annual installment of the highly anticipated Pensiontech Summit will be held on the 16th & 17th of May. This year’s summit seeks to build on the achievements of the previous by expanding on themes and trends that are gaining momentum this year. To get a glimpse of what Pensiontech 2018 has in store, here is a brief recap of what happened in Pensiontech 2017. Grab the final tickets for the summit here!

The Pensiontech Summit debut featured a diverse, yet highly knowledgeable attendees coming from nooks and crannies of the pensiontech landscape. Held at KPMG’s premises, the event sought to bring together stakeholders from three opposing forces; namely established financial giants in the pension industry, tech savvy startups and regulatory institutions, in discussing the opportunities and implications of technology within the context of pension investments.

Distinguished speakers were invited to give their opinions on the three defining trends that underpin the inevitable digitalisation of the pension industry. These trends, namely longer life expectancies, changing wealth distribution and the disruptive role of technology will drastically change both the target consumer and their expectations. These trends bring about novel opportunities and challenges that will have to be faced by the pension industry. Jan Willem Bouma from the Federation of Dutch Pension Funds, pointed out that generational shifts have affected the way that younger consumers view financial planning as well as the use of technology as an integral part of that process. Disruptive technological advances have both the capacity to make the pension planning more accessible and affordable to this segment of new consumers while simultaneously pose as a stumbling block to older, established financial institutions that seek to stick with increasingly obsolete services and infrastructure. Paolo Sironi of IBM Watson concurred with Jan Willem’s views, elaborating that technology can be used to simplify and decrease costs in the pension world.

Other speakers who chipped in their thoughts include Jerome Breem of the Actuarial Association, and Dennis de Vries, senior manager at KPMG.

The summit featured an array of energetic pitches by our very own members of Holland FinTech, in which the problems that they targeted were inextricably linked to the themes discussed by the speakers. Peter van Schijndel’s ALICE sought to provide real time consolidation or large volumes data and presenting them in a structured and comprehensible manner. Edzko Smith, owner of Bridgevest, introduced the Robo Pension Coach — an AI tool that helps investors with risk management and decision making.

To provide further nuance to the discussions in the summit, a varied panel (moderated by the director of KPMG’s advisory services Pieter Kieverun) further explored the pace and nature of change within the pension industry and the role technology plays in accelerating them. Panelist include Pieter Bannink, the outsourcing and innovation manager at Pensioenfonds Zorgin Welzijn; Fleur Rieter, pensions director at ASR; Joep Beukers, jury member at Health & Wellbeing and Director of innovation at APG; and Tim Burggraaf, Associate Client Partner at Korn Ferry Hay Group’s Reward and Benefits business.

Prince Constantijn van Orange-Nassau wrapped up the summit by addressing some crucial points regarding the importance of innovation in a regulated environment. He suggested ways that the pension industry can cope with rival newcomers without alienating customers, before ending his speech by highlighting how innovation can help advance the pension world as a whole.

Bigger, better, bolder

This year’s PensionTech Summit will be held in the Hague, and is expecting over 300 international participants. The event will feature experts from key organisations and governmental bodies. Compared to the year before, this year’s summit will have an added international focus and will include discussions on policy effects on the pension landscape in Europe. Perhaps most excitingly, the summit will feature active networking and matchmaking sessions between potential partners and investors on its agenda.

Among the themes that the summit will be expanding on are collaborations between industry heavyweights and ambitious startups, fostering of innovation, and the pension industry’s transcendence of organization and national borders.

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