This Innovation Non-Exec Wants To Make Companies Sustainable, Inclusive and Future Proof

This Innovation Non-Exec Wants To Make Companies Sustainable, Inclusive and Future Proof
At number 72 in the Top 100 Non-Executive Directors, we find Mariken Tannemaat. A newcomer, and one of the younger non-execs on the list. She was Chief Innovation Officer at Robeco until 2019. Since her departure there, she has filled her supervisory portfolio with Supervisory Directorships at Wehkamp,, VLC & Partners and ABN AMRO.

Mariken Tannemaat (1971) began her career as a Management Trainee at ING, where she worked for 18 years. Amongst others, she contributed to the international success of internet bank ING Direct, from Amsterdam, London and Paris. Once back at head office, it took her a while to find her feet. ‘I was a little shocked not to hear the word client mentioned once in my first week’, she says. Having been responsible for ING's global brand strategy, positions as Chief Innovation Officer for the insurance division of NN Group and a short stint with Asset Manager at Robeco followed.   

From Start-up To Multinational
Since then, Tannemaat has opted for career supervisory directorship and has acquired almost five Supervisory Directorships: With stock-market listed technology company, online department store Wehkamp, risk consultancy VLC & Partners, and ABN AMRO. The Employee Council (as the bank's Works Council is known) was positive about her nomination: ‘Her curiosity and drive to offer support on strategic issues, combined with her very accessible style, appeals to us very much.’ The Employee Council was also enthusiastic about Tannemaat's experience of different organizational cultures (from start-up to multinational), her ability to reflect, and her long-term orientation.

Her first 100 days as Non-Executive Director of ABN AMRO were virtual due to COVID measures. Tannemaat previously commented in this magazine as follows about that digital introductory period: ‘I am very much looking forward to seeing the Supervisory Board together. I have not met most members face to face yet. Above all, I also miss the spontaneous conversations that create serendipity. You sometimes have to rely on hunches, especially on the innovation side. That does not just happen. You need to walk around the office once in a while, see people and then unexpectedly come up with a crazy idea together.’

ESG: New Leadership Needed
The ESG theme is at the top of the supervisory agenda of Dutch organizations. We asked Tannemaat what that means for the role of the Supervisory Board members: ‘For years, society has been asking more and more questions about ESG and how companies are exercising their responsibility for that. It is not just about how you as a company contribute to a more sustainable society, for example, by taking climate change or human rights into account. It is also about how ESG is embedded within policy and how non-executive directors actively view that from the perspective of all stakeholders. In my role, I therefore pay alot of attention to making the companies with which I am involved more sustainable, inclusive, and future proof. As far as I am concerned, the use of data and digitalization, new generation leadership, and far-reaching partnerships and innovation are important to achieve that.’

A non-exec is eligible if they hold two or more positions as a Supervisory Board member or Director with the most important businesses in the Netherlands. By this, we mean companies that are listed on the AEX, AMX (MidCap), or AScX (SmallCap) index and unlisted companies with equity in excess of 500 million Euros.

Allocation Of Points
The Supervisory Board members are awarded points based on the amount of equity held by the companies where they hold a position. Supervisory positions for these businesses are worth more points than executive roles. In addition, the non-executive directors receive points for Chairmanships of Supervisory Boards, Chairman positions on Boards of Directors, and Chairmanships of audit, remuneration and nomination committees.

Finally, points are awarded for supervisory roles for large overseas companies, universities, universities of applied science, hospitals, and other large businesses.

Cut-off Date
The cut-off date for the rankings is 1 November 2021.

This article was published in Management Scope 01 2022.

This article was last changed on 15-12-2021