Meet your lecturers

The Master’s in Risk Management for Financial Institutions is a fully accredited academic programme. We pride ourselves on our outstanding lecturers, three quarters of whom are practitioners in the field of risk management and one quarter are renowned academics. This ensures the relevance and high standard of the programme, both of which are monitored by an expert advisory board.

"The lecture material is rich, varied and presented in an interesting way by great speakers. I sometimes find myself on the edge of my seat during lectures"


RMFI is divided into five semesters, each with its own theme and a coordinator to monitor the internal cohesion of course material and make sure it is up-to-date. All coordinators have a formidable track record in the academic world and in professional practice.

Programme DirectorZWFieke
Prof. dr. Fieke van der Lecq (1966) graduated in economics, and took her PhD in monetary economics, at Groningen University. She held several positions in business, civil service, and research, before returning part time to academia as professor of Pension Markets. Besides her current affiliation at the VU, Fieke holds several supervisory mandates, as well as board and advisory positions.
Programme CoordinatorRobert Dekker
Robert Dekker graduated in Business Economics from the University of Groningen, and took an executive Master’s in Risk Management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently Associate Director at KPMG, where he is also responsible for a Treasury Advice Practice. His previous banking positions include head of sales in Treasury and Cash Management at ING and treasurer in ABN AMRO Bank’s international network.

Semester 1 Coordinator ZW Jos Verstraelen
Jos Verstraelen graduated in Econometrics and Risk Management for Financial Institutions from the Free University in Amsterdam. After a career in IT Jos entered the financial world in 2008 as actuarial consultant. Currently, he is working as a senior staff member Financial Risk Management Non-Life (Reporting) at a.s.r., specialized in topics related to solvency capital requirements.

Semester 2 Coordinator ZW Guido de Smidt
Guido de Smidt studied Business Administration at Nyenrode Business University and Risk Management for Financial Institutions at VU Amsterdam, where he continues to carry out research into Behavioural Economics. Guido works as an Account Director at Aon Risk Solutions, Global Accounts and is responsible for major clients in the financial institutions sector. He has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry.

Semester 3 Coordinator ZW Eric Mathijssen
Eric Mathijssen graduated in Econometrics from Tilburg University and has held various consultancy positions in strategic policy advice, investment policy, ALM and (integral) risk management for pension funds. Alongside RMFI, Eric is a client director at Cardano Risk Management and regularly gives lectures on risk management to pension funds.

Semester 4 Coordinator ZW Ronald Bosman
After graduating cum laude in Economics from the University of Amsterdam, Dr Ronald Bosman went on to conduct PhD research into experimental economy, in particular the influence of emotional factors on economic decisions. He then worked for DNB, most recently as a senior economist with the Financial Stability division, advising management on macroprudential policy and systemic risks. Since 2011 Ronald has been an independent consultant/trainer specialized in macro-financial risks.

Semester 5 Coordinator ZW Michiel Hopman
Michiel Hopman studied Econometrics at the University of Amsterdam and has held various banking management positions in Treasury, Financial Control, Product Management, Risk Management and ALM. As a consultant, Michiel worked for Deloitte Financial Risk Management for several years and joined RMFI in 2013. He has been an independent consultant in Finance and Risk Management for the banking sector since 2017.


Frans BoshuizenDr. Frans Boshuizen studied Mathematics at the Vrije Universiteit and has a PhD in Mathematics/Probability Theory. He studied at both the Vrije Universiteit and Georgia Institute of Technology with Professors Piet Holewijn and Ted Hill. Frans has held various banking and insurance management positions in ALM, Capital Management, Risk Management and modelling. Currently, Frans is Head of ALM & Methodology at Knab, an online bank entity of Aegon. In Semester 5, Frans is teaching the insurance part of Financial Risk Management for Financial Institutions.

Hans BikkerDrs. Hans Bikker RE CISA CIA graduated Economics at the VU Amsterdam, followed by an executive master IT-audit at TIAS and Risk Management for Financial Institutions at VU Amsterdam. Hans is an experienced IT and Operational Risk expert with more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry. After different positions as consultant, IT-audit manager, Senior IT/Operational risk supervisor (Head of mission) and Coordinator ORM at DNB, he currently works at ABN AMRO Bank. In this position, Hans is in the lead of the corporate ORM instruments design.

Jan Willem van den EndDr. Jan Willem van den End joined DNB in 2001 as an economist at the Financial Stability division and is currently senior economist in the Economics and Research division. He is an expert on monetary policy and macro-finance and has published on these subjects in academic and policy oriented journals. He is also Lecturer at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where he teaches the master course Macro and International Finance. Previously he worked in the financial sector (Nederlandsche Credietverzekering Maatschappij).

Martijn van den AssemProf. dr. Martijn J. van den Assem is an expert in financial judgment and decision making. Most of his work uses data from unconventional sources such as from TV game shows, lotteries and sports. He has published in some of the world’s very best academic journals. Three of his papers are joint work with the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics winner, Richard Thaler. He teaches Behavioral Finance for BSc, MSc, PhD and post-graduate programmes, serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, and is one of the organizers of the biennial Research in Behavioral Finance Conference series.

Pieter PontPieter Bouwknegt works as head Balance Sheet Management at Nationale Nederlanden Leven, the largest life insurance company of The Netherlands. He is involved in day-to-day financial decisions and with decisions with a long term impact. He works at the intersection of finance, actuarial topics, prudential regulation, tax, accounting and financial communication. He deals with investments, pension products, reinsurance, capital instruments and capital requirements. Pieter studied econometrics in Rotterdam and has a degree in Actuarial science at the UvA in Amsterdam. He is member of the Royal Dutch Actuarial Society. He teaches a three hour introduction to Risk Management for Insurance Companies.

Roland KupersDr. Roland Kupers is an advisor on Complexity, Resilience and Energy Transition, as well as an Associate Researcher at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Amsterdam. A theoretical physicist by training, Roland spent a decade each at AT&T and at Shell in various senior executive functions, including Vice President for Sustainable Development and Vice President Global LNG. He has published widely, including in HBR, on Project Syndicate and co-authored The Essence of scenarios (AUP 2014), Complexity and the art of public policy (PUP 2014), Turbulence: A corporate perspective on collaborating for resilience (AUP 2014) and an upcoming book on Complexity and Climate Policy (HUP 2020). He is also the managing director of NewEconomicMetrics BV, a fintech start-up.

Tim van HestTim van Hest graduated in Business Administration and Econometrics from Tilburg University and has over 15 years of combined experience in analytical risk management at banks, asset managers and pension funds. In his lectures on risk management Tim uses real live cases and anecdotes to show how risk management tools have been experienced in practice. Tim is the CRO and Member of the Management Board at ORIX Europe, part of ORIX corporation a diversified financial services group headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

Tom LoonenProf. dr. Tom Loonen studied Business Adminstration and holds an MBA. He took his PhD in Economics & Econometrics at the University of Amsterdam. He is director private banking at Insinger Gilissen Bankiers N.V. and a part time professor in financial law at the VU and visiting professor at University of Amsterdam (corporate governance). He is a member of the Disciplinary Court for Banks (Tuchtcommissie Banken) and is appointed in the Enterprise Chamber of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam (Raad (plv.) Ondernemingskamer Gerechtshof Amsterdam).

Rik GhijselsDrs. Rik Ghijsels is Chief Risk Officer at IMC, a technology driven trading firm. He has 25 years’ experience in derivatives trading and risk management. He graduated in Econometrics at the Erasmus University. He held several trading and risk management positions at Rabobank, Fortis Bank and Cardano. At IMC, he was initially responsible for the Quantitative Trading Group after becoming Chief Risk Officer. He is also a board member of the Association of Proprietary Traders and a member of the Risk Committee of EuroCCP.

Jac KragtDr. Jac Kragt has spent his professional life in financial markets. Initially, he traded fixed income and credit products in bank dealing rooms in London, Amsterdam and Paris. From thereon he moved into asset management for pension funds. He was a board member of two pension funds and CRO at PGGM, a pension asset manager. Lately, he moved towards academic research, again focusing on financial markets. At the same time he is a non-executive board member of several pension funds and asset managers. Kragt holds a Master in Economics and a PhD in Finance.

Jeffrey HennenJeffrey Hennen is a senior manager within the Actuarial Services department of PwC since 2011. Jeffrey has over 13 years of experience in the Insurance industry as a consultant, of which 5 years at Towers Watson. Jeffrey is specialized in (Financial) Risk Management, Solvency II, IFRS9/17, ALM and Balance Sheet Management for insurance companies across Europe. Besides his work at PwC, he is part of the Risk Management committee of the Dutch VBA/CFA Institute, has a MSc in Econometrics & Operations Research (VU Amsterdam) in 2007, and is part of the first group who received the postgraduate MSc in Risk Management for Financial Institutions in 2013.

Theo KockenProf. dr. Theo Kocken (1964) graduated in econometrics (Tilburg) and did his PhD in pension economics at VU Amsterdam. Theo worked as head of market risk at ING and Rabobank International before starting Cardano Risk Management in 2000. He is a part time professor of Risk Management for Institutional Investors at the VU and extra-ordinary professor at North West University (South Africa). He is chairman of Cardano Development, a charity focussing on risk management in over 50 frontier markets.  Quote:  “I want to live happily in a world we don’t understand”.

Remco Zwinkels 95x142Prof. dr. Remco Zwinkels is Professor of International Finance at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Before starting at the VU, he was assistant professor in international finance as well as the head of the finance group at the Erasmus School of Economics. He holds a MSc in monetary economics from the Erasmus University, an MPhil in Economics from the Tinbergen Institute, and a PhD in Economics from the Radboud University Nijmegen. His main research interest lies in the field of behavioural finance, and expectation formation in particular. Remco is a certified teacher and has taught a large number of courses, ranging from international economics, monetary economics, to empirical finance.


RMFI’s advisory board monitors the programme’s overall quality by overseeing its selection procedures, organization and financial health. Its members are all working professionals with extensive practical and theoretical experience in risk management for financial institutions:

  • Harold Naus, CEO at Cardano Nederland
  • Anna Gold, Professor of Auditing at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Gertjan Thomassen, Partner at KPMG
  • Pieter Emmen, CRO at NN Bank
  • Gisella van Vollenhoven, Member Supervisory board at a.s.r. verzekeringen
  • Steven van Rijswijk, CRO and Member of Executive Board at ING Group
  • Jos Heuvelman, Board member at AFM