Ron van Oijen: If you really want to innovate, you need to hire fresh minds

Ron van Oijen studied actuarial science at the University of Amsterdam and worked in the insurance and finance industries across the US, Europe, and Asia. He is the former CEO of one of the largest Dutch insurance companies, VIVAT. As a long-time believer in innovations, he always pursued change even in big corporations. That meant close cooperation with startups, resetting the mindset of thousands of employees, and assigning real responsibility from the top down. Ron is now an advisor to Creative Dock.

Words by Jitka Esserová, Photos: Ron van Oijen’s archive

How can innovations change insurance and financial institutions? Do clients actually want any change?

It is not only about insurance as a product. It’s also about the whole process around it, which can be much more efficient and customer friendly, to put it mildly. Yet, the product should be changed too in order to suit the needs of the customer. Look at ING. It was the first bank that closed a lot of its offices and moved its services online. And they “sold” this change to customers well. Yet, there were two conditions that allowed them to do that. Firstly…

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