The President of the GEMFM Global Network Advisory Board is Dr. Karen Watkins. She is accompanied on the Advisory Board by Prof.dr. Anoop Rai, Prof.dr. Rita D´Ecclesia, and Prof.dr. Onno Steenbeek. Prof.dr. Rita D´Ecclesia joined the Advisory Board in February 2021; she is currently President of the Euro Working Group for Commodities and Financial Modeling, an academic association that closely collaborates with the GEMFM Global Network. The other members of the Advisory Board have worked with Prof.dr. Jaap Spronk since its inception to develop the GEMFM Global Network.


Anoop Rai

Prof. dr. Anoop Rai is a Professor of Finance at the Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University, New York. He is also the Director for the Center for International Financial Services and Markets. With degrees from Notre Dame and Indiana University, Dr. Rai has published extensively on topics in international corporate finance and financial institutions (Journal of Banking and Finance; Journal of International Money and Finance; Financial Management, among others). Professor Rai has taught at several GEMFM programs and at various institutions as a visiting or adjunct professor, including New York University, Rotterdam School of Management, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, IESDE School of Management, Mexico and the University of Curaçao. He has also conducted seminars on risk management to bankers from China, Russia, India, Indonesia and the US. Prof. dr. Rai is a partner in ProBanker, a web-based bank simulation used in university courses and bank training programs. ProBanker mimics a real bank where participants make a range of decisions to practice concepts and principles in the management of financial institutions. 

Rita Laura D’Ecclesia

Rita Laura D’Ecclesia is Professor of Quantitative Methods at Sapienza University of Rome, Chair of the Euro Working Group for Commodities and Financial Modelling, Director of the PhD program in Economics and Finance at Sapienza, and Chair of the International Summer School on Risk Measurement and Control. She currently teaches Financial Math, Asset Pricing, and Risk Management at undergraduate, graduate and PhD levels. She was visiting Professor at Birkbeck University of London from 2008 to 2015 where she taught for the MSc in Financial Engineering and Commodities. She has been teaching advanced training courses for several international companies in UK, Sweden, Netherlands and France.  

She has a broad expertise and deep understanding of financial markets, price modelling, optimization techniques and energy markets dynamics.  She served as member of the hiring committee to select quantitative method experts for the Bank of Italy, Consob and Department of Education.  She has been serving as independent expert in the Board of major Italian Banks since 2016. At the moment she is in the Board of Directors of Banco Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest bank. Her research topics spread from portfolio optimization to pricing financial securities and commodities.  

Onno Steenbeek

Prof.dr. Onno Steenbeek is Managing Director of Strategic Portfolio Advice at APG Asset Management. This department (30fte) is responsible for APG’s advisory services regarding ALM and strategic asset allocation, as well as investment and pension innovation. The quantitative models employed by the department are used to optimize the financial strategy of associated pension funds (with AuM totaling around Euro 550 billion), for overall risk budgeting and for reporting purposes. In addition, the department leads research projects into e.g. the sustainability of current pension contracts, longevity risk and a broad range of investment topics. Prof. Steenbeek also holds a Chair in Pension Fund Risk Management at the Erasmus University School of Economics in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, including teaching and research responsibilities at the University of Curaçao (Dutch Caribbean). Apart from lecturing on various finance subjects, in particular Institutional Asset Management, he conducts academic research and publishes books and articles and is a regular speaker at international conferences. In addition to his primary affiliations to APG and the Erasmus School of Economics, Prof. Steenbeek has held various advisory roles in the Dutch financial sector and the Dutch government. He has taught several times at GEMFM programs in Curaçao, Lebanon, and Mexico.

Karen Watkins

Dr. Karen Watkins worked as Local Academic Director for the Executive Masters in Financial Management Program (XFM Mexico Program- Rotterdam School of Management) and for the Global Executive Masters in Financial Management Mexico Program (GEMFM program at IESDE School of Management). She is currently the Director of the GEMFM Global Network. Dr. Watkins is affiliated to the Business and Communication Faculty at Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR), Spain, and to TecNM. She teaches bachelor and postgraduate economics and finance. Karen Watkins is a member of the EURO Working Group for Commodities and Financial Modelling, the International Family Enterprise Research Academy, and the International Corporate Governance Society. She has been invited several times to teach Corporate Governance, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Empirical Finance at the XFM and GEMFM programs in Curacao and Mexico, the Masters in Financial Management program at RSM, and BSc programs at UCC Business School. Dr. Watkins obtained the PhD degree in Finance at Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), Rotterdam School of Management/Erasmus School of Economics, during 2007, under the supervision of Prof.dr. Jaap Spronk and Prof.dr. Dick van Dijk. Afterwards, she held a Postdoctoral position at Santander Chair in Family Business, University of Granada, Spain. Her research interests are Corporate Governance, Family Firms, and Entrepreneurship. She has published more than thirty articles in journals such as World Development, Social Indicators Research, Journal of Happiness Studies, Applied Research in Quality of Life, Journal of Family Business Management, The International Journal of Corporate Governance, The European Journal of Family Business, Revista Finanzas y Política Económica, Frontiers in Finance and Economics, Estudios Gerenciales, Contaduría y Administración, Island Studies Journal, The Mexican Journal of Economics and Finance (REMEF), and El Trimestre Económico. Dr. Watkins is the author of two books, one published by ERIM and entitled Macroeconomic Crisis and Firm Performance. She has published several book chapters from publishers like Springer, SAGE, Porrúa, and UNAM.  Dr. Watkins has received several awards, including Best Paper Awards from Ensayos Revista de Economia and The European Journal of Family Business. In 2015 she also received the Adalberto Viesca Sada award for her research on Latin American family firms.