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Executive MSc in International Finance (MIF): General track

MIF Alumni in the Spotlight: Casper Heeremans

MIF Alumnus 2005

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Casper Heeremans, 42 years old. I was born and raised in the Netherlands and currently living in Amsterdam. I am married and have two young children, a five year old girl and a 3 year old boy. At the moment I work for the Dutch central bank as a Senior Resolution officer. When I am not working I try to spend as much time as possible with friends and family. I love cooking and going to the Albert Cuyp market on a Saturday morning with my kids to buy the fresh ingredients for the weekend. This is my favourite moment of the week.

Could you tell us more about your educational and professional background?

I started my career, 17 years ago, at ABN AMRO as a management trainee for the commercial banking part of the organisation. At that time I had a bachelor's degree in business administration. During my first posting as a retail branch manager I realized this was not the right part of the bank for me and I made a switch to the Trading floor. I started in generalist sales role to multinational corporations for FX, FX options, Money Market and Interest Rate and Commodity Derivatives. During that time I gained comprehensive knowledge of corporate risk management and related products, but I also realized I needed further education to obtain  better career opportunities. A high quality finance group with a strong quantitative focus seemed a good fit for working on a trading floor of a bank. This decision has most certainly paid off and I had various derivatives sales, managerial  and structuring roles for ABN AMRO.

After some time I made a switch to RBS which gave the opportunity to work for a larger, non-Dutch organization. This  gave a new dynamic as well. The area I was working in continued  advising on financial risk management issues for corporates, public sector and pension fund clients. After several years I decided it was a good moment to broaden my horizon and I took a new career step. After so many years in a very specialist environment I was interested in a role with a very broad focus on the industry I like so much: banking.

I now work for the Dutch central bank as a Senior Resolution officer. As a senior Resolution officer I am responsible for the resolution planning of the systemically relevant banks in the Netherlands. The objective of resolution planning is to create a position where the failure of any bank is orderly: in the event of failure, it will be feasible to resolve that firm without systemic disruption and without exposing taxpayers to loss, while protecting vital economic functions and imposing losses on bank shareholders and creditors. A very " hot" topic nowadays and I thoroughly enjoy the work as well as the fact that this is unexplored territory: we are still inventing the wheel rather then re-inventing it and this gives a very special and interesting dynamic to the work.

Why did you decide to pursue your Master in International Finance degree at the Amsterdam Business School?

After a couple of years working on the ABN AMRO trading floor I had gained a comprehensive knowledge of corporate risk management and related products, but I also realised I needed further education for  better career opportunities. A high quality finance group with a strong quantitative focus seemed a good fit for working on a trading floor of a bank. I made my decision based on a number of factors, such as the faculty, the programme content, the university’s reputation and accreditations, employment statistics and so on. I knew that the University of Amsterdam had a strong finance department. Another important factor was that I was working with an MIF alumnus who was very enthusiastic about the programme. His positive experiences also helped to get support from my employer.

You currently hold the role of MIF Ambassador. Can you tell us more about it?

I find it important to give something back to the school. The MIF programme at Amsterdam Business School has a very good reputation and I would like to make prospective students aware about opportunities that this programme offers based on my positive experience. As a MIF Ambassador I am actively involved in promoting  the MIF programme, while working together with the programme management  to improve it, giving workshops on topics related to project finance, providing information and sharing my experience with new and prospective students, and many other interesting activities.

What was the highlight of your studies?

I would say it was probably my graduation party…

Could you tell us more about your current additional activities (besides your job) - if you have any?

I must say that the combination of my job and a young family keeps me fairly busy. But I have a keen interest in pension-related issues. I also hold a position on the accountability board of my employer’s pension fund.

Who was your favorite professor?

I really enjoyed the Investments course of Prof. Ludovic Phalippou. He really engaged his students with the content of the lectures and his  enthusiasm was really contagious.

What are your favourite places in the world?

Amsterdam, various African game parks.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Easy-going, ambitious, fun.

What is your favourite sport?

Waterpolo and football.

What is your advice for potential MIF students?

Enjoy it as much as you can. For me it was probably one of the busiest periods in my life but also the most rewarding and fun.