Our new CTO Jeroen van Zeeland has a degree in aerospace engineering, and is definitely not lost in space. He enjoys climbing though, which led him to leave the flat lands of Netherlands and settle in mountainous Norway.
CTO Jeroen van Zeeland (right) together with CEO Espen Fjeldberg
“My main drive is to solve problems,” says Jeroen, when asked what he loves the most about his work. He studied aerospace and mechanical engineering at the Delft University of Technology, and explains that they learned to code in order to solve engineering problems: “Data isn’t valuable in itself, it’s what you do with it.”
Experience from analytics and insurance
After studies Jeroen moved to Canada, to climb and experience a new culture. He worked with start-ups and met his girlfriend. Back in Holland he started working for the consulting firm Capgemini, which brought him into analytics - helping customers make the most out of their data. After commuting between Utrech and London for a few years, Jeroen ended up in Oslo.
“The Norwegian private asset manager and insurance company Storebrand reached out to me. They were looking for a team leader for their data science team,” says Jeroen. “After a few years I was asked to set up and run an analytics department for the entire group. Our mission was, amongst other things, to aid the investigators by identifying fraud cases through the use of machine learning network models.”
An interesting job with a big sense of purpose
Jeroen joined Legentic in November and says there were a number of reasons for the job change: “The fraud aspect is compelling. Going to work every day to fight financial crime, contributing to making the world a better place. I also value working in an environment where technology is essential to the business, and not an afterthought. And getting a bunch of Dutch colleagues – in a Norwegian company – was a great bonus,” Jeroen laughs.
Making things simple
As our CTO, Jeroen is responsible for continually improving our products and technology in order to deliver great value to our customers. But unlike many other “techies”, Jeroen is not driven by novel technology: “My goal is to make things more simple, rather than trying out the latest new tech hype. I am working a lot on creating synergies and efficiencies between our two products Mohawk and Sjerlok so that we don’t have to solve the same problem twice.”
But to achieve great results, people are our most essential asset, according to Jeroen: “As a leader, my job is to help my team to get unstuck and move forward. To get the blocks in the right order. So it’s actually a matter of people, process and then technology. In that direction.”
We have defined an ambitious BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal): Uncovering 100 financial crime cases every single day in 2024. In order to achieve this we need motivated, talented people, with a good work-life balance.
“We all need time to climb. Or play. Or just hang out with family and friends,” Jeroen concludes, before sharing another fun fact: “I’m really great at memorizing song lyrics. But don’t make me sing them!”