RSM and VIVAT join forces in digital business research and education

VIVAT and Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) have signed an agreement for a long-term partnership in digital business research, education and recruitment. Under the agreement, a PhD position will be created at RSM. VIVAT will also provide talented RSM’s students with research opportunities in data analytics and digital business development. The research results generated at RSM will help the to innovate their digital business models and digital platforms to improve their customer experience.

The signed agreement is a result of an earlier successful existing collaboration between RSM and one of VIVAT's online brands, says RSM’s Associate Professor Dr Ting Li, who leads this research collaboration. “The insurance industry is considered as a latecomer to the digital era. But that’s changing,” she continues. “Digitisation presents an immense opportunity for the industry and will reshape the core of the business. The new digital innovations are likely to bring consumers with more choice, better services, and lower prices. VIVAT has embarked on such a digital transformation and RSM’s research expertise can support this,” Ting says.

PhD research

The PhD position created as a result of this collaboration will conduct research into one of VIVAT’s big challenges in the digital economy: how to track and analyse how customers interact with the company through various digital channels, and how to turn this knowledge into services and products, tailored to the individual customer’s needs. This involves designing the best client approach for every digital channel, and for every type of customer contact, from acquisition to service expansion and retention of customers.

Student opportunities

During the collaboration, VIVAT will create multiple internship positions per year for RSM’s MSc in Business Information Management students. The partnership between VIVAT and RSM will also extend to the recruitment of student talent.

Steef van de Velde, Dean of RSM, comments: “This long-term collaboration fits very well within RSM’s tradition – and ambition – to address real-world business problems in partnerships. I’m looking forward to seeing our research expertise in this field support VIVAT with the transition to becoming a digital service company.”

Insurer of the future

Ron van Oijen, CEO of VIVAT: “We want to make our customers’ lives easier by offering them products and services that cater to their personal lifestyle. While there’s no avoiding the use of data analytics when it comes to developing these innovative solutions, it’s a given that we never lose sight of the importance of our customers’ privacy.

Van Oijen says VIVAT has taken on the challenge of making its employees experts in the field of smart data as a way of distinguishing ourselves in the market. “That’s why we want to work with various prestigious universities and universities of applied sciences. We have high expectations of our collaboration with RSM, and we’re proud to be working with this institution.”

More information


VIVAT NV is the holding company for, among others, SRLEV NV, Reaal Schadeverzekeringen NV, Proteq Levensverzekeringen NV, ACTIAM NV and Zwitserleven PPI NV. The subsidiaries of VIVAT are also active on the Dutch market with, among others, the Zwitserleven, Reaal and ACTIAM brands. A balance sheet total of around EUR 59 billion (year end 2016) makes VIVAT one of the larger insurers in the Netherlands. Anbang Group Holdings Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd., has been the sole shareholder of VIVAT NV.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Ramses Singeling, Media Officer for RSM, on +31 10 408 2028 or by email at

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