APG puts artificial intelligence to work for sustainable investing

Published on: 2 February 2018

APG is taking over the data analytics activities for sustainable investing from Deloitte Nederland. This business unit is well known for its great expertise and knowledge at the cutting edge of artificial intelligence, big data, and sustainable investing. The thirteen employees will be working for APG in an independent business unit. The takeover will significantly accelerate APG’s use of artificial intelligence and big data for sustainable and responsible investing.


The new APG team will be tasked with identifying listed companies that make an important contribution to solutions for climate change, or for problems in the areas of health care and education. The team will complement the expertise already available at APG in the areas of artificial intelligence and big data. The technical infrastructure and the team’s smart algorithms are fully operational and are a very good fit with APG’s current investing activities.

The new business unit is also an excellent supplement to other innovative initiatives at APG, such as Kandoor, a smart digital platform where people can go to with all their financial questions. This helps APG further strengthen its innovative power and as such ensures optimal cross-pollination of high-tech knowledge, from which pension funds and their participants can profit as much as possible.


Ronald Wuijster, Interim member of the Executive Board of APG Group, responsible for asset management said: “We are constantly seeking out innovative and sustainable investment opportunities to achieve the highest possible return at the lowest possible costs. Using the unique knowledge this team has in relation to big data and artificial intelligence will make us even better at that.”


Gerard van Olphen, Chairman of APG’s Executive Board said: “By making smart and good investments, we contribute to the maximum possible pension value for the participants in the pension funds for which we work. This is another way in which we give pension funds and their participants more control over their financial future.”


Innovative pension administration

The takeover of the data analytics activities for sustainable investing is just one of APG’s many initiatives in the area of innovation. APG invests fully in new technology, both in relation to investments and pension administration.


Artificial intelligence is also being used to improve the service to pension fund participants. Algorithms are developed by a special team using, among other things, contact history, personal data, pension details, and the online browsing behavior of large groups of participants. By combining this information for different target groups, it can be predicted with high reliability when they will contact the pension fund in relation to which topic. These insights are used to proactively approach the pension fund participants, but also to communicate more efficiently and effectively with the participants.


APG announced earlier this year that together with PGGM, it had successfully completed the first phase of an experiment with a blockchain application for pension administration. In the long term this technology promises more flexibility and lower costs for pension funds and their participants. Most of the work will take place at the Smart Services Campus in Heerlen.