To see this article in digital magazine format, click here.
Herman Slooijer, 37
Head of European Credit, APG
Successful people usually excel in more than one element of their lives, and Slooijer is no exception to this rule. The lofty Dutchman played volleyball at a very high level and calls some of the current national team his contemporaries, but it is hard to sustain the discipline of a sports career and manage €22 billion in European credit, he admits.
He studied econometrics at university but had an urge for the real world and worked through small institutions before managing assets for Europe's largest pure-play pension fund. "I wanted to see what was really going on, so I joined the high yield team that ABP was setting up, then I moved up to be Head of European Credit," Slooijer says. ABP was then made to split out its investment company and APG was created, with the pension fund remaining its largest customer. "It is for a good cause. All the money you make is for pensioners and as the investment is so long term, we can stick to a position if we believe it and are not driven by in and outflows." It is not just the worthwhile nature of the job that appeals to Slooijer. "I live in a village outside Amsterdam and working at APG means I can spend time with my kids." He works a four-day week every fortnight. "Flexible working is getting a lot of traction and APG has a bright future with room to grow," he says. It is probably too late to return to top-flight volleyball now, anyway.
Mega-Fund Men: These five are achieving the near impossible: Standing out at the world's largest—and often most staffed—funds. They don't come from tiny plans of four people. No, they are being noticed within organizations that can reach into the thousands. This is also, you may have noticed, the most international of groups. Canada, Korea, Denmark, and the Netherlands are all represented here. With talent like this, it should be no surprise that any mention of the world's "best" asset owners will always include more than one of these countries.