Marcus van Bergen

Software Engineer

“ABN AMRO is one of the three largest clearing parties in the world, but we don’t have a huge team, and that makes working here so special.” 


Learning about the world of banking from the inside

‘I have a very technical background. My first degree is a bachelor's in computer science, and I’ve also done a master's in computational science. They sound like the same thing, but they’re not. When I did my master’s, I learned how to work with computer models that make accurate predictions,  such as how an epidemic will spread or what impact a tornado could have. My specialisation was financial models.’

International opportunities

‘After I completed my master’s degree I applied for the Global Clearing Traineeship at ABN AMRO. ABN AMRO  Clearing has an international allure that was particularly appealing to me. We have offices all over the world, in places such as Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong and the United States. The traineeship included three months working abroad, which I was very keen on. I ended up going to Singapore and had a fantastic experience. When the traineeship ended I became as a risk manager, and for the past year I’ve been working as a software engineer.”

Weighing up risks

‘ABN AMRO Clearing acts as a guarantor for clients who trade in the financial markets. Imagine that you order a new pair of shoes and pay for them with your credit card. You assume that the shoes will be delivered within two days. But what happens if the company where you bought the shoes suddenly goes bankrupt?’

'Normally you would have lost your money, say some two hundred euros. But fortunately your credit card company acts as a guarantor,  and so you’ll get your money back. Clearing works in the same way, but on a much larger scale. We provide a guarantee for our clients. For example, we estimate what they can - and cannot - finance, and what their potential loss would be. That’s how we determine the risks associated with a trade.’

A company within the bank

‘ABN AMRO Clearing is one of the three largest clearing parties in the world, but we don’t have a huge team, and that’s what makes working here so special. In Singapore, for instance, we only take up half of a storey in the building. Clearing is actually a stand-alone company that operates under the ABN AMRO umbrella. All the departments you normally find in a bank - from commerce to marketing - can be found here. But because it's small and friendly you get to know everyone,  and that’s marvellous!'

Peering into a closed world

‘Finance is quite a closed world, and that’s something I’ve always found intriguing. If you have a question about IT you can find hundreds of YouTube videos that provide the answer,  but that’s not the case when it comes to finance. So I’m really enjoying learning all about the entire ecosystem from the inside out. What's more, I didn't learn anything about matters such as revenue, costs and profit when I was at university. Now I get to see all of the business side of the banking industry -  how it’s run, in other words’

Good for society

‘I like how ABN AMRO positions itself as an enabler of people. At Clearing, we help clients to increase liquidity in new and existing financial markets, and that benefits everybody. I think it’s great that ABN AMRO is also there for people with a vision. We help first-time buyers to get a mortgage, and help people to set up businesses. Our Banking for Better days are another example. We are given a certain number of days’ leave that we can use to do something for society,  such as teaching children how to code. It’s a fantastic initiative. I haven't got round to doing that yet, but I will in the near future.'

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