Investment writer and journalist with over 20 years of international trading experience in financial markets. Well-versed in conducting interviews with financial institutions, including major international asset managers, banks and insurance companies. Content is published in various formats including columns, stock or market analyses, advertorials and white papers.
Writes in Dutch and English.
Troublesome or sweet as a child?
I am calmer now- but I was rebellious as a teenager and was a real pain for my parents at times, who were quite strict. I am very energetic, and I always give back in abundance. Also, I am very open, honest and direct. I am not the ‘informative’ type. A lot of passion goes into my work. I’d like to say I am not boring, nor laid back. I always keep going. I wouldn’t characterize myself as being diplomatic – I don’t like to beat around the bush.
Is this your dream job?
No, but then again – what is? I think it is all about living in the moment. If I had become a hotshot doctor or a lawyer, my thoughts on this would have been the same. I love what I do in this moment. As a trader I was good at what I did, and I had a great time. Now I am a writer, and I am very much enjoying that right now. What I love most about being a writer: ‘Spoken words disappear, written words remain.’ And I do believe I will continue doing this for the remainder of my career. The financial markets are my main area of interest, have been for ages.
How do you challenge yourself professionally?
I believe that having a diverse portfolio is important. But my haven will always be the financial markets. I enjoy writing columns, CEO profiles, interviewing people. But there are also the peripheral assignments I take on just because I have time. I love the variety in work, but if I had the choice, I’d only write about investments and the markets, because that is really where my heart is. The only rigid requirement I have across the board, is that every piece of content that I deliver needs to be perfect.
Are you an idealist or a realist?
As a passionate person, I guess I am a realist with ideals. I think dreams are great, follow them. But we still need to keep our feet on the ground. It’s okay to hope that one day you’ll win the lottery, but at the end of the day, you need to make a living. If I don’t work, I can’t provide. Can’t leave it all up to luck. I believe in hard work, in being creative, in giving it all I’ve got.
What do you find most difficult about your line of work?
The biggest difference between working in a 500-staff dealing room and being an independent writer is teamwork. I was groomed in a team set up at a large financial institution. When I left, I mostly missed the fun team dynamics. But I found out that I am actually great at working alone. And being able to better balance work with family life is great.
In my current line of work corporate authority, especially excessive marketing can be a big turnoff. I don’t do well with feedback along the lines of ‘can I please have a catchier title’. I need certain amount of freedom in my work, and feedback needs to be constructive. I work much better in sparring situations; it bolsters my editorial creativity.
What I love most about editorial assignments: conducting interviews. I love the level of detail involved. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding.
What are your future ambitions?
I am person with diverse interests. I love to travel and when I ‘retire’ I would like to travel more with my family and meet new people. Professionally, I’d like to build a broad client base and have consistent, loyal interactions with the people I work with.
What are you most proud of professionally?
I am most proud of my career switch. I was a decent trader, but I have also become a pretty decent writer. I have gained experience and continue to learn every day, still growing. I get to write about a domain with which I am comfortable and know well.
Why are you a Friend of Stark?
I interact well with the Stark team. I believe we help each other reach our ideals. To me, that is what this platform is all about. In our fast-changing environment it is good to have a solid network. Marketing dominates our space and there is a big difference between working with marketers and PRs.