Celebrating a Keylane career of over 10 years

In celebration of his ten year anniversary (congrats Remco!) and to pick his brains on the pivotal moments and career decisions that led him to his current role, Keylane Careers interviewed Remco, Keylane’s Company Secretary for the P&C business line.

What keeps him coming back, what are his proudest career moments, and what goes down at these company Skilane trips?! (SPOILERS: he’s not telling, but my sources say great things).

Hi Remco! The big question first. Can you tell us what inspired you to join Keylane, and talk a bit about how your career decisions have evolved over the past 10 years?

Sure! So, I was looking at that time for opportunities within a consulting role, somewhere at the intersection of business and IT. I joined an in-house day at Keylane, and although I was initially interested in the consultant/information analyst role, during the recruitment process we came to the conclusion that with my background and work history, it was a better career path to join as an Assistant Project Lead.

Back then, I was the first and only one starting in that function which raised new challenges for me, as well as opportunities to set a gold standard. So, I started with supporting project managers, and with the onboarding of Univé as a new customer by coordinating (and joining) the training sessions for our solution QIS (Axon). Next to this, customer ENNIA also joined us under the lead of Ralf Timmer, who I initially supported in this project. In due time, Ralf handed over more responsibility of the project to me. During that time I was also appointed Information Security Officer. I stayed in this function for two years, until mid-2015, when we appointed a full-time Security Officer.

From here, I would go on to onboard and guide newly hired Assistant Project Leads and Project Management Officers, acting as both mentor and people manager. In the same timeframe I was promoted to Project & Service Manager. From June 2020 until May 2021, I took on the challenge and role of Head of Risk; a new function within Keylane at that time. After a year, I realised it wasn’t the right career decision for me, so took an opportunity to switch back to my old business line as a Senior PMO reporting directly to the CEO of our P&C business line. A role that has now evolved into Company Secretary.

Your proudest accomplishments and most memorable moments?

Top of mind is Unigarant’s migration to SaaS as a first mover. That presented a lot of opportunities to really excel. I’m also proud of my part in shaping the professionalisation, standardisation and streamlining strategy of our P&C organisation, and in particular our Projects Department. More recently, I enjoyed helping with the design phase and introduction of our DevOps organisation.

On a more fun note, our Skilane trips (Keylaners love to ski) are the stuff of legends. I’ve many great memories of our times together on the slopes (and in the ski bars!).

How do you think Keylane has changed as well as grown as a company, and what impact has this had on your work and career decisions?

When I started my career path at Quinity (a predecessor to Keylane), we were about 120 employees. This year, just within the P&C business line, we are closer to three times that many employees. Within the full Keylane group as a whole (all business lines), we are perhaps now 600 employees and growing. We’ve also continuously grown in terms of customers and revenue, and expanded our services and committed a high attention to professionalism in all areas of the business.

We work in a disruptive industry, so of course there are growing pains, often stemming from mergers and acquisitions, but more so these events create new opportunities for Keylane and new career paths for all of us as employees. For me, the impact is very positive, as I’m given room to execute on new projects, both externally as well as internally, in both leading and supporting roles. This gives me room to always be developing myself and taking on the challenges I like.

In your opinion, what sets Keylane apart from other companies in the industry, and how has this influenced your career decisions?

Our CEO Bart said something recently that captures my feelings well. To paraphrase him: “Keylane’s culture of openness, collaboration, team spirit, quality focus and customer centricity, is at the heart of Keylane’s business operations”. For me, these are the values that sets Keylane apart, and they are the values that have influenced my career decisions and continue to motivate me to learn and grow within Keylane.

What advice would you offer a new employee looking to kick-off their Keylane career?

Just one small piece of advice to set off your career path on the right foot, but it’s important: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to anyone within the organisation. Keylane operates a flat hierarchy approach, and open communication is encouraged and genuinely valued.

Thanks, Remco! Last question – Something you’ve learned about yourself or your profession during your Keylane career?

The busier you are, the more time you need to take for your planning, although this sometimes feels counterintuitive. I operate best when I have room in my head to be idle. And it’s important to set expectations, work with intermediate deadlines, and always gather good data and clear requirements. After a heavy workload period some time ago, Keylane offered me coaching sessions, and that helped me learn a lot about myself, the opportunities I want to pursue and the right path to take toward my development.

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