Professor of economics and chair of the European Banking Center at Tilburg University. He is also a research fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). Previously he worked in the research department of the World Bank and has also worked as consultant for – among others - the IMF, the European Commission, and the German Development Corporation. His research, academic publications and operational work have focused on two major questions: What is the relationship between finance and economic development? What policies are needed to build a sound and effective financial system? Recently, he has concentrated on access to financial services, including SME finance, as well as in incentive-compatible design of financial safety nets. In addition to numerous academic publications, he has co-authored several policy reports on access to finance, financial systems in Africa and cross-border banking. His country experience, both in operational and research work, includes Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Mexico, Russia and several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. He holds a PhD from the University of Virginia and an MA from the University of Tübingen in Germany.