Fred Bakker is financial analyst, journalist, and author of the book The Smartest Places on Earth published in 2016 by Public Affairs based in New York. Before publishing the book, Fred has taken a two-year journey with his co-author Antoine van Agtmael through Northern Europe and the US, where they visited 10 regions that were former rustbelts. This journey has resulted in an outstanding story of how rustbelts in these regions are becoming the unlikely hotspots of innovation.
Fred is a Dutch native born in 1949 in Amsterdam. In 1967, he graduated from University of Amsterdam with a degree in Political Sciences and Economics. After, he joined Nederlandsche Middenstands Bank, the predecessor of the ING Bank, as an analyst at the Economic Research Department. From 1980 on, he worked as a journalist for the leading Dutch financial newspaper, Het Financieele Dagblad (FD), reporting on monetary and financial affairs where he later became the deputy editor of the newspaper. From 1995-2006, he was assigned as the editor in chief. During this period, he was appointed as the interim CEO of the company, which in time transformed from a newspaper publisher to a multimedia company. Next to the daily newspaper, several websites, a Business Newsradio and a quarterly business magazine, FD Outlook was launched. In 2006, Fred started a new department in the media group, FD Intelligence, with a specialization in organizing events and debates.
Now retired, Fred is busy with the preparation of his upcoming new book, and continues his career as a well-recognised author.