These years of crisis have been intellectually stimulating
"If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing it well." Jan Straatman, CIO (Chief Investment Officer) of ING Investment Management is guided by this principle, which he constantly repeats to his four children (aged 20 to 26). At 49, this youthful looking, level-headed Dutch national, who today works for a major Dutch institution, has always been passionately interested in the financial markets and economic dynamics.
After obtaining an MBA in finance from the Belgian university of Hasselt, his career has been marked by his experiences in several prestigious firms. Before joining ING IM, Jan Straatman was CEO*/CIO of Pearl-Axial Investments. Before that, he held various positions of responsibility in the asset management and pension fund sector, in particular as CIO Capital Markets at one of the biggest Dutch pension funds, ABP Asset Management, after having been in charge of asset management at Achmea Global Investors and Senior Vice-President at GIM Capital Management in Eindhoven and New York. Although he is now based in the village of Schalkwijk, with its 2,000 inhabitants, near Utrecht in the Netherlands, he has previously worked abroad. "Capital markets and economies have become more global over the last twenty years, he explains. Working in different economies helps one to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of financial markets."
Jan Straatman, who is in charge of all the assets under management at ING IM (378 billion euros under management), manages a team of more than 800 professionals. He considers that the last few years of crisis have been "intellectually stimulating". "It has been an extraordinary period, he adds, which has had an extraordinary impact, both personally and professionally. What lessons can we learn from it? Avoid following the market’s herd instinct. In the years preceding the crisis, operators had tended to become overly complacent. Since the crisis, however, risk management and the ability to understand market sensitivities have acquired a far more important place in our portfolio management." This family man makes it a point of honour to spend time with his family and divides his free time energetically between walking, tennis, basketball, music, reading and the arts… with a particular fondness for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the impressionist movement.
*Chief Executive Officer