Before joining the IMF, Dr Claessens was Professor of International Finance at the University of Amsterdam. A Dutch national, he holds a Ph.D. and Master in Business Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master in Business Economics from Erasmus University, the Netherlands.
Prior to joining the University of Amsterdam, Professor Claessens worked in the World Bank in a variety of assignments, including its Finance complex, Chief Economist's Office, Debt and International Finance Division, Finance and Private Sector Development Division for the Europe, Central Asia, Middle-East and North-Africa Regions, and East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank. He was the principal author of the 1989/90 World Debt Tables and one of the principal authors of the 1996 World Development Report on Transition Economies, From Plan to Market.
His policy and research interests are in external finance and domestic financial sector issues. Specific areas are: asset-liability management and risk management for developing countries; alternative forms of external finance, including portfolio flows; financial sector development and reform in developing countries; internationalization of financial services; corporate governance; and bank and enterprise restructuring in transition economies and developing countries.
Professor Claessens has provided advice and led World Bank missions to Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hungary, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Thailand, and Turkey. His principal role has been to help governments develop strategies for external debt restructuring and asset-liability management; and to provide advice on financial sector restructuring and reform.
Professor Claessens has published extensively in these areas including in journals like Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, European Economic Review, Journal of International Money and Finance, Journal of Development Economics, and Journal of Policy Reform.
He has edited several books, including Commodity Risk Management and Finance, Oxford University Press, 1991, Portfolio Investment in Developing Countries, World Bank, 1993, Investing in Emerging Markets, Euromoney Books, 1994, The Internationalization of Financial Services: Issues and Lessons for Developing Countries, Kluwer Press, 2000; International Financial Contagion, Kluwer, 2001; and Resolution of Financial Distress, World Bank Institute, 2001.
Professor Claessens has lectured and given seminars in many places, including the Wharton School, New York University, MIT, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, American Economic and Finance Association Meetings, the China Finance Association, various World Bank training courses, World Bank, IMF and ADB seminars and conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago conferences, and others conferences around the world. He is on the Editorial Board of the World Bank Economic Review and is an associate editor of the Journal of Financial Services Research.