UCL Institute of Finance and Technology



Prof. Francesca Medda

Director of UCL Institute of Finance and Technology


Francesca Romana Medda is a Professor of Applied Economics and Finance at the University College London (UCL). She is the Director of UCL Institute of Finance and Technology.  The Institute of Finance & Technology is the new UCL Institute dedicated to innovative finance and technology.  The research and teaching in UCL Institute of Finance & Technology are focused mainly on three key areas of interest of Prof Medda and her group: digital finance, impact & sustainable finance and urban & infrastructure investments. Since 2012 she serves as economic adviser to the UK Ministry of Environment and Agriculture (Defra) and in 2014 at the Ministry of Finance (HM Treasury). She is Vice-President of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee. Her work is published in leading academic and practitioner journals. She has worked and works actively with the private and public sector including The European Investment Bank, The World Bank, UNESCO, UN-Habitat, WILLIS Re, HALCROW, and UITP. She has hold several grants, two of which pertain to the application of complexity analysis in the real world, co-Investigator in the £6.2m EPSRC Programme Grant “Liveable Cities” and the £5.8m grant “New Business for Infrastructure Investments”. A present she runs the EU Horizon 2020 grant CLIC (Circular models Leveraging Investment in Cultural Heritage) https://www.clicproject.eu/

Paola Bergamaschi-Broyd


Paola has 30 years experience of capital markets in the City of London. She has held senior management positions at Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and State Street covering different geographies, with P&L responsibility.  Since 2014 Paola has developed a portfolio of non-executive positions. She is currently on the board of BNY Mellon International (asset services), Wells Fargo Securities International (broker dealer), ARCA Fondi SGR (asset management), and Millenium and Copthorne (a FTSE listed company in the hotels sector). She serves on various risk, audit and remuneration committees as part of these mandates. Paola is also on the Board of Big Society Capital where she is involved in impact investing and has built a portfolio of direct investments, . Paola is a Trustee of the UK charity Fareshare and a member of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, one of the livery companies of the City of London.She graduated summa cum laude from Bocconi University in Milan where she studied Economics.Ms Bergamaschi Broyd lives in London and is married with two children.

Budha Bhattacharya


Budha brings with him over 15 years of Capital Markets experience. He has held key positions, at tier one investment banks such as UBS as an Executive Director, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch etc. He currently advises firms on most topical Capital Market risks and issues such as Brexit, LIBOR transition and complex regulatory challenges. He has cofounded a ML/AI powered prop-tech start up. Budha is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at UCL’s Institute of Finance and Technology. He has an MBA from INSEAD/Wharton and advanced degrees in Finance and Economics from University of Exeter and London Business School. As a single father of three kids, when (and if) he gets any spare time he indulges in reading, operatic concerts, cricket, politics, board games, cooking and travelling.

Dr. Luca Cocconcelli


Dr Luca Cocconcelli is Industrial Professor at the Institute of Finance and Technology (UCL) where he teaches Big Data in Quantitative Finance. Luca holds a PhD in Applied Finance from University College London and an MSc in Statistics from University of Bologna. He is Data Analytics Manager at the London Clearing House (Part of London Stock Exchange Group) where he covers Equity and Fixed Income in the Risk & Innovation team. Before joining LCH, Luca worked in M&G Investments in Risk Modelling and Analytics for Equity in the Portfolio Construction and Risk division and as a quant risk analyst in a boutique Investment Management (Massena Investment Management). Luca spent 7 years in academia and developed a number of collaboration with international institutions such as the European Investment Bank, World Bank and European Commission.

Dr. Fabrizio Coiai


Dr Fabrizio Coiai has been working in the industry since 2005 and he is currently a Multi Asset Investment director at BlackRock. Previously he was at HSBC where he mostly worked in macro and multi-asset portfolio management on behalf of different client segments served by the asset management and insurance sectors. Specific areas of expertise include portfolio construction, asset allocation, factor-based investment, and multi-asset derivatives for investment, hedging and capital management purposes. Fabrizio began his career as quant analyst at San Paolo IMI in Italy where he was in charge of the pricing and hedging of variable annuity.  He was also a part time teaching fellow of mathematical finance at University College London (UCL) for two academic years. He holds a MSc in Physics from University of Padua, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from SISSA/ISAS.

Dr. Joo Hee Lee


Dr. Joo Hee Lee is a multi-asset investment-solutions specialist and portfolio manager. Noted for designing systematic allocation strategies for large institutional investors including pension funds and sovereign-wealth managers. Especially recognised for creating detailed, robust and cost-efficient client-specific solutions, with a strong track record of managing multi-asset bespoke portfolios. Well-versed in academic literature and financial theory, with published papers and significant industry experience, spanning equity, fixed income and currencies prior to moving into the multi-asset business. She has a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Physics from University of Cambridge, and a M.Sc. degree in Applied Statistics and Operational Research from Birkbeck University. Additionally, she is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and a CQF (Certificate in Quantitative Finance) holder.

Dr. Ramin Okhrati


Dr Ramin Okhrati is a lecturer (assistant professor) in digital finance and a member of the Institute of Finance and Technology. His background is in mathematical finance having a BSc, an MSc, and a PhD in mathematics (more specifically applied probability) with concentration in actuarial and finance. He has publications in leading international journals and a wide range of research interests, in particular, in digital (computational) finance, insurtech, credit risk, stochastic analysis, and applied probability.  Before joining UCL, he worked at the mathematical sciences of the University of Southampton (from 2013 to 2019) and a held a one year postdoctoral fellowship (2012 to 2013) at the Financial and Actuarial Mathematics group of Vienna University of Technology in Austria.

Simona Paravani-Mellinghoff


Simona Paravani-Mellinghoff is Industrial Professor at the Institute of Finance and Technology at UCL where she teaches Financial Analytics and Machine Learning. Simona earned both a BA and MA in Economics from Cambridge University. Simona is a Managing Director at Blackrock where she currently covers the role of Global Head of Investments for Client Portfolio Solutions. Client Portfolio Solutions is the investment group at the heart of BlackRock’s portfolio construction and asset allocation ecosystem that brings together BlackRock’s research, investment experience and technology to meet clients’ needs for whole-portfolio approaches. Prior to joining Blackrock in 2015, Ms Paravani-Mellinghoff spent ten years at HSBC where she held a number of senior positions in Hong Kong, London and New York including Global Investment Strategist and CIO in the asset management division. During her tenure at HSBC, Ms Paravani-Mellinghoff was responsible for a range of investment solutions covering both institutional and retail clients including being the lead PM on the World Selection global range. Prior to HSBC, she was the quantitative strategist at Julius Baer Asset Management in Zurich. She started her career in 1998 as a quantitative analyst at Orbis in London. Ms Paravani-Mellinghoff was named for two consecutive years in 2009 and 2010 as a rising star of finance under 40 by Financial News, a sister company of the Wall Street Journal. She is a published author and conferences speaker.

Dr. Thomas Schröder


Dr. Schröder has been working with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for more than twenty years, starting as an economist in the Chief Economist’s Department, thereafter in front-office functions in the Capital Markets Department and more recently as a Managerial Adviser in the Strategy, Policies & Business Support Department.  He has been acquiring extensive experience in the primary bond markets, usage of derivatives for hedging purposes, counterparty credit risk and other financial markets and risk management issues. Prior to joining the EIB, he worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, Frankfurt, where he gained insights in the iron and steel, postal services and insurance industries. Dr. Schröder has been publishing in highly rated academic journals in the fields of finance, economics and physics.  For more than ten years, he has been teaching finance at various universities in Luxembourg, Germany and the UK. He studied at the universities of Cologne, Heidelberg and Keele and received Ph.D. degrees in both physics and economics.