Claudia Zeisberger: INSEAD Senior Affiliate Professor of Decision Sciences and Entrepreneurship & Family Enterprise & founder INSEAD’s Global Private Equity Initiative (GPEI)

My NativeAdVantage:

Professor of Entrepreneurship & Decision Sciences at INSEAD & Academic Director of INSEAD’s Global Private Equity Initiative. Angel investor – Passionate Educator – PE & Financial markets Expert


Claudia Zeisberger is an INSEAD Senior Affiliate Professor of Decision Sciences and Entrepreneurship & Family Enterprise. Professor Zeisberger founded INSEAD’s Global Private Equity Initiative (GPEI) in 2008. As the Academic Director, she is responsible for research, outreach & teaching in both Private Equity & Venture Capital. Through the centre’s work, INSEAD has established itself as the go-to source for insights on PE in emerging markets and as an incubator for talent and professionals. Her links to alumni in the venture space were instrumental in the 2015 formation of “INSEAD Alum Ventures”, the school’s first dedicated seed fund, by Alumni – for Alumni.

In 2010, she launched INSEAD’s popular elective “Managing Corporate Turnarounds,” which combines in-class cases, theory and visits from industry professionals with an intensive computer-based simulation involving the iconic car brand SAAB and its struggle with bankruptcy. Over a full weekend student teams work to rescue the distressed car manufacturer by drawing on their management, finance and operational skills whilst facing increasingly complex decisions impacting both the firm’s short-term liquidity and long-term value creation.  Students consider MCT the perfect capstone elective to put their MBA skills to test; corporations see the simulation as an opportunity to prepare their senior executives for tricky times ahead.

Professor Zeisberger teaches the Private Equity & Venture Capital, Corporate Turnaround and Risk management electives in INSEAD’s MBA, EMBA and Executive Education programmes across the school’s three campuses. She has been nominated repeatedly for the Best Teaching Award in her PE elective and received the “Dean’s Commendation for Excellence in MBA Teaching” for the last 6 years running.

Joining Academia in 2005 after a 16-year career in global investment banking & alternative investments allowed her to leverage her extensive network and combine her passion for education & innovation by connecting academia with industry. Her professional experience, acquired through her time in Derivatives trading, structuring and institutional sales at international financial institutions (Deutsche Bank, Berisford Capital Markets Group (BCMG) and Dresdner Bank) in New York, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo & Singapore has shaped her motto that “Relevance lies where theory & practice collide”.

Professor Zeisberger is a founding committee member of the Financial Women’s Association (FWA) in Singapore and was previously on the Board of the Singapore Venture Capital Association (SVCA). In her spare time she is a passionate Polo Player.

What do you do best?

I am a passionate educator and enjoy engaging with smart students in class, developing new content and using technology to develop simulations to bring content to life.

I get things done – Everyone can have ideas, suggestions opinions; getting it done or execution is the challenge & the secret to success both in life and in business.

What makes you the best?

My colleagues say that “she gets things done” and that may be true simply because I hate to accept defeat and am overall quite focused.

I see through issues and problems quickly, cut to the chase, get to the essence of it – and see solutions.

I am not afraid of getting my hands dirty and tackle new and exciting tasks or try new ways to get results.

I have little time nor patience for BS & I thrive on challenges. No status quo & “steady-state” for me.

How will you stay the best?

At INSEAD, I am fortunate to be continuously surrounded by bright, engaging & smart people. Especially my MBA & EMBA students bring new business ideas but also challenging questions to me – Nothing better than being challenged on a daily basis to keep you on your toes, question one’s capabilities and push for better answers.

Biggest success?

Balancing family, life, work & fun – I don’t think I have done a perfect job, but when looking at my family I think we managed really well.

What are your aspirations?

Personal: Ride around the world – be happy – find balance – stay busy (not necessarily in that order)

Business: Make education relevant & accessible for everyone

What fascinates you?

People – there is no limit to the ways they surprise me on a daily basis.

Horses – there is no limit to their ability, if you bring the patience.

Favorite Motto:    

Res non Verba (Deeds, not Words)

Favorite People:     

My son & husband

Favorite Places:     

South of France (and I mean the South!)

Favorite Products:

My Fagliano Riding Boots

Current Passions:     

Technology & Horses (They are my past, present & future passion; they keep me honest)

Twitter: @claudiazeisberg

Twitter: @claudiazeisberg