Robert van Kerkhoff (BNP Paribas Securities Services): Making the difference with data
Robert van Kerkhoff, the Luxembourg-based Head of BNP Paribas Securities Services for the Grand Duchy, the Netherlands and the Nordics, says in an interview that his role is about driving growth and developing our offering across these three markets.
How would you describe your professional journey?
I started at the options exchange in the Netherlands where I focused on risk management, and a few jobs later, I joined Fortis Bank as Head of Risk in 2002. My wife is Spanish, so I gladly agreed to move to Madrid in 2005 as Deputy COO and later COO for Spain and Portugal; it was a very interesting experience in terms of cultural dynamics. After three more years in Spain, I moved to Paris as Deputy Head of Operations for Asset and Funds Services worldwide, a role in which again I enjoyed adapting to a new culture, colleagues and structure. In 2015, I went back to the Netherlands as Head of the Dutch Branch of BNP Paribas Securities Services. Over the next four years, we went from a team of 25 people to 100 and significantly increased our market share thanks to successful business integrations..
“My role as a leader is to ensure we always stay true to our DNA”
What are your main goals?
My first goal is to strengthen our current position in the Luxembourg market by leveraging our global footprint and capabilities. Secondly, we want to invest further in innovation in order to enhance our platform, but also our organisation. We would like to reinforce the active role our firm already plays in local initiatives. I have no doubt that our understanding of the changing market landscape and the intricacies of the securities services industry will enable us to lead the way in the present challenging context. Experience and grasp of the challenges of the future are the keys to success in the modern world and I am convinced this can be achieved thanks to our flexibility, collaboration, a strong sense of ownership and fluent communication throughout the organisation. Our clients will therefore benefit from the connectivity and local knowledge they need to navigate change in a fast-moving world with a partner that can help them achieve their ambitions.
What are the most important developments taking place in the fund industry?
The most important element in our industry today is related to data rather than traditional asset servicing – it is where we can make the difference for our clients. The challenge is to make sure that all data remain consistent through the chain and across multiple platforms. We need to be the best at enriching the data and returning it to our clients when and where they need it. Many ask us to interface with their systems through API technology where customers will be able to access NAV and other information by tapping directly into our systems. The vast amount of data that we manage on a daily basis can sometimes give the impression that we are like a factory, but what we are is a multi-asset servicing specialist partnering with its clients and committed to helping them achieve their ambitions. My role as CEO is to ensure we always stay true to our DNA.