Festina life

Agility, Speed, and Evolving Financial Needs: PensionDanmark meets Festina Finance

Having searched for more than a decade to find a secure IT application to streamline its operations, PensionDanmark’s long search ended in 2019 when it partnered with Festina Finance, transforming the way it does business.

Serving the needs of PensionDanmark members has been a central part of Denmark’s largest public pension fund since it was first set up in 1992.

As one of the top 50 largest pension funds in Europe, with EUR 36bn under management and 780,000 members, it has five key values: openness, commitment to its members, professionalism, accountability, and innovation.

But to achieve its goal of providing the best service to its members, the firm came to a realisation in 2018 that it needed an IT partner that shared its commitment to using new technology to innovate.

“We wanted an administrative tool that was a departure from the complex and bloated IT systems that were widely used throughout the industry,” says Flemming Tovdal Schmidt, the chief operations officer at PensionDanmark.

"“We have a fantastic starting point for how we will administer pensions in the future, because the core runs on the cloud, we can do operations and development whenever we want, 24 hours a day - it’s a business playground.”"
Flemming Tovdal Schmidt, Director of IT & Customer Service,
Pension Fund

This kicked off a decade-long search for a nimble IT system that could lower administrative costs, streamline paperwork, and provide customers with 24-hour support.

“Essentially, we wanted to strip the system down to the core, so that it would only contain members’ balances,” adds Schmidt. “From that foundation, we hoped to build several business applications that could handle deposits, withdrawals, simulations, mailings, and robotics that were detached from the core.”

PensionDanmark was looking for a provider that would use technology to transform how it engaged with its customers for the future.

Instead, it encountered a range of incumbent providers who were focussed on maintaining “Business as Usual” rather than looking to innovate and provide an IT platform that met its requirements.

That all changed when PensionDanmark met with Danish fintech Festina Finance, who shared its vision for a streamlined system with the customer at its centre.

Agility at its core

When the partnership between the two firms was formed in 2019, Festina Finance did not provide core IT solutions.

This was actually one of the key attractions for PensionDanmark, as Festina Finance was not weighed down by specific use cases for technology or fixed ideas about how pensions should be administered.

Festina Finance’s team of developers had to build the system from the ground-up, building capacity and in-house expertise, from the management team to its developers.

“Because Festina wasn’t saddled with any conservative practises or old habits, they were able to focus exclusively on our vision of creating a Cloud-based IT landscape of individual business applications,” says Schmidt.

“They know the industry well, act quickly when we approach them, and have been agile at their core.”


A business playground

PensionDanmark was looking for a system that was simple, with cloud components that could focus on the needs of its clients.

The result has been a new IT system that enables robots, automation, and machine learning algorithms to perform a variety of customer-facing tasks.

It can now tailor digital advice for the unique needs and goals of each client and company, providing the customers with the best service in the sector at a low cost.

“We have a fantastic starting point for how we will administer pensions in the future,” says Schmidt. “Because the core runs on the cloud, we can do operations and development whenever we want, 24 hours a day - it’s a business playground.”

A huge privilege

For Festina Finance, it shares with PensionDanmark a focus on openness, innovation and putting the needs of its clients front and centre of everything that it does.

The fruits of the partnership is that it has now become a core system provider for pension administration and the firm is excited about how it can continue to innovate within this sector.

It also continues to evolve Pension Danmark’s IT system and Jesper Lauritsen, a partner at Festina Finance, says a key part of the success of the 20-month development was the pension fund’s professionalism and engagement.

“They were very clear and detailed in their expectations, and we are excited to have developed their next generation administration tool,” he says. “Quite simply, it’s a privilege to work with a partner that has such great confidence in us.”


About PensionDanmark

PensionDanmark is one of the 50 largest pension funds in Europe. They are a non-profit labor market pension fund and had EUR 36bn under management by the end of 2020.

PensionDanmark is a professional and business-oriented organisation with over 300 employees and was established by a group of labour unions and employer organisations for the purpose of managing the pension agreements that have been part of the collective agreements since the beginning in 1989, entitling all blue-collar workers covered by a collective agreement to pension benefits from PensionDanmark.

Read more at: www.pensiondanmark.com