Who are these people who choose to work in the pension sector? What do they do all day for your pension? And what do they like about their work? We are taking you behind the scenes.
Zakaria Driouech (26) is a Finance & Risk trainee at APG. “As a trainee you are immediately given a lot of responsibility, which really surprised me.”
What exactly do you do as a Finance & Risk trainee?
“An internship at APG means that for two years you will carry out various assignments within Asset Management. There are various tracks, such as digital, quant, investment and portfolio. Because risk management appealed to me the most, I opted for the finance & risk track. That’s where you get to work with financial and operational risks.”
What is risk management? How do you manage risks?
“Risk management is a broad concept. At APG, various teams deal with it. There is asset risk, for example, which identifies the financial risks associated with current and potential investments. There is also a team that focuses on operational risks. It doesn't look so at the financial picture so much, but at the qualitative aspects of a possible investment: what are the business operations like, what is the management like, what is the reputation in a broad sense? Others assess the models used within APG to predict possible returns, for example. Are those models doing what they are supposed to do, are they suitable for the purposes they are used for?”
And what do you do in concrete terms?
As a trainee, you rotate. The first period I was in client risk. There it was my job to test risk models to see whether they are doing what they are supposed to do and whether the predictions approach reality within the limits. It was a lot of fun; I got to apply all kinds of skills that I had acquired during my studies in econometrics.”
And where are you now?
“At enterprise risk management. This department oversees the risks of business operations. A hypothetical example: suppose that the investment department accidentally invests in a company that is on the list of companies in which no investments are allowed. This would have to be reported according to the rules. If this does not happen, there is a chance that APG could suffer damage to its reputation, or that irresponsible investments could be made, possibly resulting in financial damage. I researched fraud risks and how best to identify them. I thought it was cool to learn about this operational side of risk management as well.”