New director at SAFE: Florian Heider to follow Jan Pieter Krahnen

On 1 December 2022, the scientific directorship at SAFE will change hands


For the first time since it was founded, the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE will see a change in its academic leadership as, on 1 December 2022, economist Florian Heider takes over from Jan Pieter Krahnen as Scientific Director. During his tenure, Krahnen was instrumental in building up the new institute. His successor Heider joins SAFE from the European Central Bank (ECB), where he currently leads the financial markets research section.

Set up in 2013 as part of the Hesse excellence initiative LOEWE, SAFE became part of the Leibniz Association in 2020. It is dedicated to interdisciplinary research on financial markets and their participants in Europe and also offers research-based, independent policy advice. “In the years since it was set up, SAFE’s development has been very impressive; I am greatly looking forward to working with the team behind this institute to continue its development and help it grow further,” says incoming director Heider. As Scientific Director, Heider will also become the spokesperson for the SAFE Management Board with its Deputy Scientific Director Uwe Walz and Administrative Director Muriel Büsser.
“We are passing on a well-functioning institute to an internationally renowned researcher and experienced manager, Florian Heider,” says Krahnen, adding that “SAFE is in the very best position to continue its development – and I’m absolutely delighted about that.”


Focus on finance intermediaries and macro-economics

Florian Heider (50) studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) at the University of Oxford before going on to obtain a Ph.D. in Economics from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium). Following research positions at the London School of Economics and the New York University Stern School of Business, in 2004 he went to the ECB, working in various functions in the departments Research, Market Infrastructure & Payments, and Monetary Policy. In 2020, he became Head of Section for Financial Markets Research. His new position as Scientific Director at SAFE is part of a professorship in Economics at the Goethe University Frankfurt.

Heider’s academic interests are currently focussed on financial intermediaries and on their role in monetary policy, market design, and the capital structure of companies. His work has appeared in a range of international academic journals, including worldwide leading publications in economic and financial research such as The Review of Economic Studies, The Journal of Finance, and The Journal of Financial Economics.

“We are delighted to welcome Florian Heider to the Goethe University and as new director of SAFE,” enthuses Enrico Schleiff, President of the Goethe University Frankfurt and member of the SAFE Board of Trustees. “I am convinced that he will follow Jan Pieter Krahnen in cultivating the cooperation between our university and SAFE with the same dedication as his predecessor, under whose leadership SAFE grew into an exemplary part of our House of Finance.”