"At Zanders, I was quickly thrown in at the deep end"

How is Richard Roering?

In 2011, after eleven years at Zanders, Richard Roering left the company to start working at RBS. Ten years later we ask him a few questions on his life after Zanders. “Just like Zanders will do this year, I will move to a new home with my partner Hans Peter in July. The house is in Utrecht-east and we are currently busy with the renovation. So, Zanders and I still have quite a lot in common!”

When did you join Zanders and what roles did you perform?

“I started at Zanders in 2000, as a junior. It was still a small consultancy firm back then. I liked that – a lot of cold-calling in an ambitious, dynamic atmosphere. During these years I grew from consultant to senior consultant, and around 2007 I became manager of the Dutch corporates team. Our team consisted of around twelve consultants and mainly carried out treasury interim and consultancy assignments.”

Was OPS also part of that team?

“No, OPS was the department that dealt with all our clients’ system implementations. It was a separate department. But there was already a lot of overlap in the large treasury transformation projects, so often there were exchanges taking place between OPS and the corporates team. Because in addition to selecting and implementing systems, these projects were also about setting up processes and solving policy issues.”

You left Zanders in 2011, in the middle of the credit crisis…

“Yes, before I left Zanders, I therefore did a lot of refinancing assignments. As a corporate you had to make sure that you purchased security and in the difficult market of that time you had to follow certain rules. You needed to convince the banks with a thorough term sheet and know the impact of worse-case scenarios on your covenants. A turbulent time!”

And then you joined a bank. Why did you take that step?

“When I left Zanders in 2011 to work for RBS, I thought we hd passed the worst point in the financial crisis. But for the banks in particular things went from bad to worse. At RBS, one reorganization followed another, but fortunately I survived them all. It was a very instructive time. But the switch to RBS introduced me to a completely different culture too. At Zanders, the family culture prevailed and I very much enjoyed my time there. On the other hand, the atmosphere at the Anglo-Saxon bank was much harder than what I was used to. I needed to adapt and learn the game to survive. So, the step to RBS also shaped me in a positive way. But it took a while before the dust had settled.”

And after a few years, you switched banks. What is your role there?

“Yes, after four years at RBS I joined ING. At RBS I worked in the Dutch branch, at ING I came to work in ING’s headquarters. That was quite a difference. Just like at RBS, I started working for the corporate clients in the Netherlands. At RBS I had a sales role, at ING I am now Team Lead Transaction Services Sales Netherlands. This means that I am leading the sales team and have to respond to developments in the market, for example by offering training courses. Also, I am now involved in strategic issues, finding answers to questions such as: what will Transaction Services look like in 10 years, what will be the role of the bank, and how should we ensure that we are still relevant in 10 years? Open banking, APIs and machine learning – we need to understand a lot of developments towards the future and towards our customers. We train our team on these topics.”

What are the biggest differences between working at a bank compared to working at Zanders?

“At a bank the relationship with the client is a lot more formal. You only have a limited time for each client, whereas as a consultant you are often ‘in-house’ at the client. That offers a faster opportunity to understand the client. But at ING, they still see me as 'the consultant'. That's the stamp from the first job that sticks to you. The way of thinking as a consultant – reasoning from the client's perspective – is something I learned at Zanders.”

What is your fondest memory at Zanders?

“The steep learning curve is what stuck out to me the most. In a short time, you gain a lot of confidence at Zanders to do important projects. As a result, you develop quickly. At banks, important things are done by senior people. I was quickly thrown in at the deep end. For example, I suddenly had to give a training course on a subject that I was unfamiliar with. But it worked out in the end – very instructive. As a young consultant, you have to devote more time to your work and do a lot of research. They were long days in the beginning, but I did benefit from it in the end. Because at a certain point you reach a level that will benefit you for the rest of your career.”

Richard as a Zanders consultant.