28 April 2023
Peter Koning wanted to deepen his knowledge and experience, so after completing his bachelor's degree in Business Administration, he completed a master's in Econometrics. He then looked for a workplace that could offer the right mix of quantitative and qualitative work, as well as responsibility and freedom. And he found that at the bank. 'I'm glad to be back.'
What do you do at the bank?
'I’m the Regulatory Model Management Specialist. In other words, my colleagues and I ensure that our risk models for capital calculation comply with all the laws and regulations. In some respects, the regulations are quite general. So, we translate this into the context of ABN AMRO. Conversely, we also ensure that all the changes within the bank and how they impact the capital calculation are clearly and cogently communicated to the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB sets the regulations, but it misses a lot of our context, so that communication demands both strategy and reasoning.'
What attracted you to ABN AMRO?
'I’m drawn to the banking sector anyway, as I want to understand how a bank works. Why, for example, does one bank fail but not the other? After my bachelor's in Business Administration, I was lacking some depth, so I obtained a master's in Econometrics. In this programme, I was able to work with data and mathematical models. ABN AMRO appeals to me because of its culture. We work collaboratively to achieve things, which brings out the best in everyone. Sometimes, you have to tell it like it is. There's room for that, which I appreciate. I also feel an enormous sense of freedom here. Freedom, when possible, to work however, wherever and whenever I want so long as I deliver what I said I would. That freedom’s partly reflected in the hybrid work model that ABN AMRO has opted for. In my case, this translates into one to three days in the office and the rest at home. Ad it’s partly down to the independence in the work. I’m given responsibility, so I gladly take it. That makes me feel autonomous, which is an important driver for me. I think that's one of the reasons why I was able to develop professionally within the bank so quickly. As a result, I was able to get promoted in two years.’
Do you ever have doubts about your career?
'Not at the moment. Every summer and Christmas holiday, I hold my work up to the light. How do I feel about how things have gone over the past six months, and how do I see the year ahead? Have I had enough fun, been challenged enough? Do I see enough room for me to grow both professionally and personally? There’s plenty of room at the bank to start that conversation; therefore, there’s room to grow. Two years ago, the opportunity arose to return to ABN AMRO. I had completed the internship for my thesis there. I didn’t have to think about it for very long. Here, I found challenges and interesting subject material. It soon became clear that I’d made the right decision. After I began working at the bank, my wife noticed a night-and-day difference in the way that I came home.'
How do you establish a healthy work-life balance?
I became a father to my second daughter in November. I was given six weeks of fully paid birth leave. I’m also going to take parental leave in September; that's four weeks at full pay and five weeks at 70% of my salary. I think that's been arranged remarkably well. Within our team, we try to create the space for a healthy balance between working hard and making a positive impact on society. For example, as part of Banking for better days, the entire team spent a day helping to organise and run a sports day for children from deprived neighbourhoods. It makes me feel good that we have the freedom to do things like this.'
How could the bank improve?
'For us to do our best together and to continuously improve as a bank, it’s important that we remain open to the perspectives of others. Here, at the bank, we can even go one step further. My colleagues and I spend a relatively large amount of time building mutual understanding and getting people who come from different perspectives onto the same page. On one side, you have the business, on the other, you have the rules and regulations. and each side has its own context and interests. Once there’s a willingness to understand one another, little more can go wrong. That's why it's important to truly be open to other people's perspectives. Once both sides adopt a broad outlook, we can really achieve something beautiful in a short amount of time.'
Would you like to apply for a vacancy on Peter's team or in another department at ABN AMRO? You can apply here!