E-signatures improve workflow for NN Investment Partners

NN Investment Partners (NN IP) is the asset management arm of Netherlands-based international financial services company, NN Group. Headquartered in The Hague, NN IP has over 150 years’ experience of managing risk and return, and is active in 37 countries across Europe, Asia and America. NN IP acts as a responsible investor, aiming to improve its clients’ returns, as well as the world we live in. Ranked as one of the biggest asset management firms on the globe, the organisation offers its services to pension funds, insurers, family offices, independent financial advisers, banks, and private individuals; in addition to managing the assets of the NN Group.

A seamless partnership

Back in 2017, NN IP was using a long-haul process of going desk to desk to attain internal signatures for sign-off and verifications. Even with the advancement of technology, the internal approval and signing processes took time away from employees, turning lawyers into ‘post-men’ and generating a bottleneck in workflow. From this, NN IP realised it needed an easy-to-use solution for its employees that would allow them to process signatures anywhere, anytime.

NN IP set out to find a way that would streamline these processes, whilst also generating trustworthy qualified signatures. On the face of it, sourcing technology solutions for such a pragmatic problem would seem a simple task. However, this was not the case, and the organisation soon realised that there were a multitude of legal needs and compliance issues to consider.

They finally signed with Adobe in March 2018, allowing NN IP to use Adobe Sign services on the cloud. Adobe allowed for an easy end-to-end workflow, being the only partner that possessed many variable integration capabilities that were able to consolidate with many of NN IP’s in-house software at the time. Adobe’s integration capabilities, combined with its strength of security, provided NN IP with confidence in the service. This became one piece of a larger puzzle that would allow for seamless user experience.

However, NN IP needed a solution in place that would verify individuals and issue electronic signatures, providing trust in the system that would also be integrated with the cloud. Having exhausted a number of options that didn’t quite work out, NN IP eventually found Digidentity, which could provide the business with virtual smartcards on a mobile phone. Virtual smart cards with digital certificates act as the most convenient form of authentication, where in order to obtain them, people would need to go through identification where their information is verified. With Digidentity, NN IP was able to take one step closer to an ‘anytime, anywhere’ signing process.

The creation of a unique solution

When NN IP and Digidentity first partnered, Digidentity had generated a solution in the cloud but was not yet able to integrate with the Adobe Sign service. However, Digidentity realised the potential of such a solution, and began to work in partnership with NN IP’s legal, operations, risk security and IT teams, to develop the perfect platform, understanding the asset manager’s needs for an ‘anytime anywhere’ solution.

Before long, Digidentity was able to help NN IP take the next step in moving away from its traditional onboarding processes. Previously when onboarding, registration used to take days or weeks to complete, going back and forth in-person - even globally - to identify people and verify passports and achieve a qualified signature. With its Cloud signing solution and remote onboarding, Digidentity provided NN IP with a scalable, accessible service that was quick and easy to use.

With Digidentity’s cloud signature solution, the teams were able to work together to integrate into Adobe’s signing platform. This allowed Digidentity’s signature solution to be used on the Adobe platform, creating a strong and reliable service combination that proved to be the beginning of a unique partnership.

In March 2019, NN IP entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement with Digidentity, and began rollout of the pilot service to 50 beta users, with integration between the three partners.


The pilot programme was completed in September 2019. However, as COVID-19 spread across the planet, the need for remote signing services grew exponentially, as businesses rushed to find ways to continue operations. A growing number of organisations came to realise the value in signing digitally through reliable services, confronted with the reality of working from home and the inability to travel.

As demand grew, NN IP saw a significant increase in the adoption rate of its digital signature service, with over 10,000 transactions taking place between March and September 2020. Companies saw their median transaction times plummet from 3 days down to just 65 minutes, saving thousands of hours. Customers experienced a vastly improved onboarding process, strong integration, and a much more streamlined user experience.

Through the unique and innovative three-pronged partnership, the sign ‘anytime, anywhere’ objective was met and exceeded. Digital signing is now seen as the rule and not the exception, with e-signing becoming the first logical step that companies take in order to complete validated signing transactions.



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