Stijn Claessens is Assistant Director in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund where he leads the Financial Studies Division. He is also a Professor of International Finance Policy at the University of Amsterdam where he taught for three years (2001-2004). Mr. Claessens, a Dutch national, holds a Ph.D. in business economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (1986) and M.A. from Erasmus University, Rotterdam (1984). He started his career teaching at New York University business school (1987) and then worked earlier for fourteen years at the World Bank in various positions (1987-2001). Prior to his current position, he was Senior Adviser in the Financial and Private Sector Vice-Presidency of the World Bank (from 2004-2006). His policy and research interests are firm finance; corporate governance; internationalization of financial services; and riskmanagement. Over his career, Mr. Claessens has provided policy advice to emerging markets in Latin America and Asia and to transition economies. His research has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Finance, and Quarterly Journal of Economics. He had edited several books, including International Financial Contagion (Kluwer 2001), Resolution of Financial Distress (World Bank Institute 2001), and A Reader in International Corporate Finance (World Bank). He is a fellow of the London-based CEPR.