Sara van den Bleeken, senior compliance officer
“Before I started working at APG, I worked for the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM). It was extremely interesting work, but I wanted to be one step ahead of the game, and be able to advise and intervene earlier.
That’s exactly what we do here in the compliance department at APG. We deal with integrity at the organization in the broadest sense of the word. That includes overseeing that legislation and regulations are fully observed, and how they are interpreted, but also among our employees. We also give advice, for example, on how to prevent conflicts of interest, and ensure that organizations we do business with aren’t engaged in criminal activities such as money laundering. Additionally, we conduct risk analyses and risk management. To cut a long story short, we ensure that everything we do at APG complies with legislation and regulations, and is in the interest of our clients and pension participants.
I really enjoy my work. The diversity of the job particularly appeals to me. You’re not responsible for one particular focus area, but you contribute to the organization as a whole.
If the world was perfect, then my work would be superfluous. Human behavior, however, isn’t always perfect. Anyone can overlook something once in a while. As compliance officers, we try to shed light on these matters to get the best possible end result. It’s really important because if we aren’t compliant, this could potentially lead to losing our good reputation as well as our clients, or it could be detrimental to their pension participants. What we do, we do for them.
A pension is not something we think about every day, even though almost everyone is paying into one. If something isn’t right, it can take a long time before you find out about it. That’s why it’s so important for all parties in the sector to do their job to the best of their ability. I really like the idea that I am helping older people receive a good pension. Ultimately, that’s also good for the Netherlands.