03-07-2012 - Very successful first Asset Management Summit and 5th anniversary party for UMS Group Europe B.V.
On Thursday 21 June, UMS Group Europe held its first Asset Management Summit which coincided with the 5th anniversary of UMS Group Europe. The Summit attracted approximately 60 participants and was held in the impressive National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.
Five top speakers were invited to present their perspectives on the topic of Asset Management. The unique thing about these speakers was that even though the topic of the Summit was Asset Management, none of the speakers themselves were Asset Managers! The reason for this selection was that the purpose of this first Summit was to provide participants with an understanding of stakeholders’ perspectives and their impact on Asset Management.
Jan Schipper, Managing Director of UMS Group Europe, welcomed the participants and provided a brief introduction. His opening remarks were followed by a presentation from Marga Blom, Director Energy Management at KPN, a leading Dutch telecom provider. Marga presented the perspective of a multi-site customer of utilities by describing KPN’s sustainability policy to the audience and describing how it impacted energy purchasing in terms of green label and expected energy consumption. As KPN is also a grid owner and manager of telecom infrastructure, an interesting additional perspective was provided by Marga as she explained that KPN already had to deal with upgrading the telecom grid to a smart grid with two way flows of data. She also described how an unexpected change in customer behaviour can have a huge impact on grid investments!
An investors’ perspective on the market and on asset management was provided by Stephan Follender, Managing Partner at CEFIN. Stephan explained that investors are always looking for those options where the risk of losing money is lowest. So investments in known technologies are preferred above unsure and high risk investments in new technologies (i.e., smart grids!).
The third guest speaker was Chris Knowles, Technical Director at Lloyds Register. Chris informed the audience about the benefits of implementing a quality system like PAS 55. He based his presentation on case studies from several utilities that have implemented PAS 55.
Whereas the other three speakers provided an external perspective on utility asset management, an internal point of view was offered by Jeroen Dicker, group treasurer at TenneT-TSO. Jeroen shared his view on the gap between the corporate finance function and the asset manager.
The programme was capped off with a presentation by Jack Shearman, CEO of UMS Group Inc. Jack shared a case study on the costs of implementing a smart grid and explained how before implementing smart meters, the installed asset base needs to be modernized; otherwise the benefits from the smart meters cannot be maximized. The examples presented in the case study demonstrated that grid modernization was 5 times more expensive than the roll out of the smart meters. This led Jack to discuss how the question of “who is going to pay for it?” was solved by devising a new strategy for gaining commitment from the regulator to increase prices for end users.
Very positive feedback was provided by the participants of the Summit and remarks like “This was the first time I have been to an Asset Management event without having an Asset Manager talking about his assets” were expressed.
The Summit was followed by a reception for the participants on the deck of the VOC Ship Amsterdam which provided attendees with the chance to enjoy a nice view of the city. The evening was concluded with a dinner to celebrate the 5th anniversary of UMS Group Europe. Based on the feedback received for this inaugural event, UMS Group Europe has determined that next year the second Asset Management Summit will be a two-day occasion held in the May/June timeframe.
If you would like to receive more information or are interested in participating in programme development or a speaking slot, please contact;
Marie-Louise van Rossum
UMS Group Europe
Ph: +31 (0) 20 561 7033