Even as a junior you have an impact

Julian Steenman, Quant Trainee

“I see APG Asset Management as a knowledge library with many highly educated colleagues. I’m still amazed by the enormous amount of knowhow and experience at our Asset Management division.

For a long time, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do for a living. At high school I chose a technical subject combination out of interest and technical business administration for a broad, university study program. An elective course on investment immediately caught my interest. I was so intrigued by the model-based and complex choices you have to make when investing that I made the switch to technical mathematics.


I wrote my thesis at APG, which struck me as an interesting organization as the Netherlands’ biggest asset manager. APG invests in virtually anything you can think of. I wouldn’t necessarily say I have an affinity with pensions, but I do with asset management, social relevance and APG's higher goal: to contribute to the pensions of millions of Dutch people.

After graduating I started as a trainee at the mandate research department, later in quant credit and now I’m part of the real estate team. I clicked with the people, the work environment, the open corporate culture. There is no elbowing or hierarchy. I'm not micromanaged, nor am I left to my fate. It took some getting used to at first. Colleagues often have a full diary, which made it difficult for me to approach them with questions. Despite that, I consciously started asking questions and visiting colleagues. The effect was everything I hoped for: people are more than willing to talk about their field. I was taken seriously from day one. The recommendations of my first trainee assignment have largely been adopted by the organization. That typifies how APG treats people: even as a junior you have an impact on business operations.


Whether APG is the place to be for asset managers depends on what you want to do in asset management and whether you find social relevance important to your work. One drawback is that asset managers of the largest pension funds have people looking over their shoulder quite a lot. If you don't like that, then this isn't the place for you. For me, the fact that I do something useful for a large part of the Dutch population outweighs any regulatory pressure.”



I see Asset Management as a knowledge library with many highly educated colleagues.