Managing your capital

ING’s guided open architecture marks its 10th anniversary

ING is still the only major bank in Belgium where you can choose from a selection of the best investment funds from renowned asset management companies. Discover the winning features of this unique offer.

It was 10 years ago that ING became the first major Belgian bank to launch guided open architecture: a unique approach to investments that gives customers the opportunity to invest in a wide selection of investment funds from 5 world-famous independent asset management companies vetted by ING. We look back on the success of this approach and how it has helped our customers.

While most other major Belgian banks continue to offer their own funds, ING customers can invest in funds from our selected global partners: Amundi, AXA Investment Managers, BlackRock, Franklin Templeton Investments and NN Investment Partners.

“Ten years on, this unique investment approach is still a success,” says Erik Hagreis, Head of Investments at ING. “Our customers are very satisfied, not just with the excellent performance but also the easy access to external investment solutions that offer a perfect complement to our own investment funds.”

“There are three important stages that come before our advice”

Erik Hagreis explains ING’s unique way of working: “Defining investment possibilities is the result of a process with several different stages. First our experts analyse the main global macro-economic trends. Next they translate these forecasts into investment strategies. Only then does my team move into action. On the basis of rigorous criteria such as the Morningstar rating, the product’s volatility, the expected return and its ethical and sustainability profile, we select the funds that are best aligned with the strategies we have developed. Once this work has been completed, our investment bankers take over and offer our customers personalised advice depending on their knowledge and expectations.”

Erik is also keen to highlight another plus point of the ING model: the privileged ties that the bank has established over the years with the five world-renowned partners: “The development of a strong, proactive collaboration built on proximity is, by the way, one of the reasons we only work with a limited number of top-quality partners."

Anne Sophie Tandel and Erik Hagreis

Anne Sophie Tandel and Erik Hagreis

“An open and guided offering of funds”

ING’s approach is therefore both open and guided. That means that ING selects around 60 funds from a much larger pool of investment products.

Why a selection? “We want to be able to advise our customers on products with which our bankers are fully and meticulously versed,” says Anne-Sophie Tandel, Head of ING Personal Banking, a personalised service which manages the wealth of customers with over €100,000 in assets.

This selection can of course change and evolve. For example, if a fund ceases to meet certain criteria or if other investment funds offer a better alternative.

“This is an important element of our in-house approach. Our 400 Personal Bankers are in direct contact with our macro-economic experts, strategists and asset managers. Thanks to this direct contact they understand immediately why a certain fund is pushed to the fore and they can present personalised offers to customers based on their risk profile, investment objectives and personal convictions, etc.”

“Personal guidance has never been so important”

The proactive role and expertise of a Personal Banker have never been more valuable according to Anne-Sophie:

“It is now more important than ever to be able to rely on an adviser you can trust and with whom you have a long-term relationship. Your ING Personal Banker is there to reassure you in times of great market volatility, as was the case in March and April 2020, and help you avoid taking over-hasty investment decisions.”

Would you like to know more about our wide range of investment solutions?