Case Studies

Heineken Pensions and Diligent Boards: Brewing better decision making

Heineken is one of the world’s leading brands of beer. Known by its pale-green bottle and red star logo, the beer can be found on store shelves in more than 170 countries around the globe. Heineken’s pension group in the UK has been using the Diligent Boards™ solution since 2013.


There are a number of Boards and Committees relating to Heineken’s pensions schemes in the UK. Janis Ireland, Pensions Governance and Operations Manager, acts as secretary to many of the boards and is responsible for arranging the meetings and papers.

Before switching to the Diligent Boards solution, all board packs were paper-based, featuring up to 200 pages of information. Whilst these were generally mailed, there were occasions where papers were late or packs went missing and so Janis, who lives in Edinburgh, personally had to transport copies of the unwieldy reports to the meeting locations in London.

“Besides the drudgery of compiling and delivering the reports, there were other downsides,” Janis explained. “The biggest one: It was sometimes difficult getting papers delivered at short notice in advance of the meetings.” One of the Directors of the board used Diligent on another pension scheme and suggested that Heineken Pensions make the change


Janis undertook due diligence when it came to choosing a vendor. The top-three industry leaders were interviewed and tested, and Heineken Pensions conducted a cost-benefit analysis. Diligent Boards came out on top. Why? “Ease of use,” she noted. “Diligent Boards was the most intuitive of all the solutions we tested, and the 24-hour support was attractive.”


As a result of the switch to Diligent Boards, Heineken Pensions has saved countless administrative hours that would have gone to compiling paper-based packs. Beyond that, board members receive critical information faster, and can better prepare for meetings by having reports days in advance of quarterly meetings. It is also easy to refer to and to access papers from previous meetings.

The Diligent Boards solution has also spread beyond executive meetings. “Now we put additional information onto the portal,” Janis said. “That gives everyone immediate access to things like training modules and other documents that enhance professional development.”