UCL Institute of Finance & Technology


Core Team

Find out more about our Directors, and academic and professional services teams


Francesca Medda, IFT Director
Professor Francesca Medda
IFT Director

Francesca Medda is Professor of Applied Economics and Finance at the University College London (UCL). She is the Founder and Director of the UCL Institute of Finance and Technology. From 2020, Medda has coordinated the digital strategy in the Italian Financial Conduct and Supervisory Authority (Consob). In Consob she led three main projects on the digitalisation of supervisory activities. She also coordinated the group dedicated to the Consob regulatory sandbox and is a member of the Italian Fintech Committee. Her research focuses mainly on innovative finance and technology, sustainable finance, and impact investments. Her work is published in leading academic and practitioner journals. Since 2012 she has served as economic adviser to the UK Ministry of Environment and Agriculture (Defra) and the UK Ministry of Finance (HMTreasury). Since 2016 Medda has been Vice-President of the UK Parliamentary and Scientific Committee. She has worked actively with the private and public sector, including The European Investment Bank, The World Bank, UNESCO, and UNHabitat. Professor Medda holds several research grants of more than £15m, twoof which pertain to the application of complexity analysis in the real world.In 2023, she is on the Standout 45 Women in Fintech, for making a real andlasting impact in FinTech, over and above her day-to-day role.  

Room 213, Chadwick building, UCL, London
Email: f.medda@ucl.ac.uk
IRIS profile: Francesca Medda

Academic Staff

Dr Carlo Campajola
Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence and Financial Analytics 

Dr Carlo Campajola is Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence and Financial Analytics at IFT. He holds a PhD cum laude in Applied Mathematics for Finance from the Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa, Italy), which he earned working on models of discrete autoregressive processes intersecting methods from statistical physics and financial econometrics. He then held a postdoctoral position at the University of Zurich Department of Informatics, focusing his research on the analysis of cryptocurrencies from a complex systems perspective. His main research interests lie in the analysis of economic and financial networks, detecting herding behaviour in financial markets, AI applications in finance, blockchain analytics and decentralised finance.

Email: c.campajola@ucl.ac.uk



Maurizio Fiaschetti, IFT Lecturer
Dr Maurizio Fiaschetti
Lecturer in Banking and Finance, Programme Director of MSc Venture Capital and Private Equity with FinTech

Maurizio Fiaschetti is Lecturer in Banking and Finance at IFT. Before joining UCL, he was Assistant Professor in Finance, Risk and Banking at the University of Nottingham Business School, where he served as Director of the MSc in Banking. Previously, he was Lecturer in Banking and Finance and Director of the MSc in Finance at SOAS, University of London, and has held research positions at Oxford University and at Universita’ di Roma – Tor Vergata.

Maurizio has worked as an advisor and research officer to the Italian Bankers Association, the think tank Fondazione Manlio Masi, the Italian National Institute of Statistics and at the Ministry for the Environment. Maurizio’s background is in International Economics and Econometrics and his research interests are:

  • Applied Econometrics, particularly on panel data and categorical dependent variables models
  • Venture Capital and Private Equity
  • Banking
  • Economic Geography, particularly clustering algorithms and applications of spatial econometric models to spillover effects and hedonic pricing models.

Room 213, Chadwick building, UCL, London
Email: m.fiaschetti@ucl.ac.uk
IRIS profile: Maurizio Fiaschetti


Hui Gong
Dr Hui Gong 

Dr. Hui Gong graduated from the Mathematics Department of University College London. His research encompasses various facets of fintech, including algorithmic trading, high-frequency trading, blockchain technologies, cryptocurrencies, tokenization, Web3, metaverse and the application of generative AI in finance. During his doctoral studies, he was delegated for an exchange visit to the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) at the University of California, Los Angeles. He collaborated with financial institutions like Credit Suisse and Citigroup on projects related to artificial intelligence and quantitative finance.

In 2016, he founded the China UK Blockchain Association, dedicated to promoting Sino-British cooperation in this domain. In 2018, he served as the Special Advisor on Fintech and Blockchain for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain. Post-graduation, he engaged in blockchain-related education and research at UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies (CBT) and Westminster Business School, publishing papers on ICOs and CBDCs etc.

Email: h.gong.12@ucl.ac.uk


Maxime Nicolas
Maxime Nicolas
Associate Lecturer

Maxime Nicolas is an Associate Lecturer in Finance and Technology at IFT. Before joining IFT, Maxime was a Research Fellow in Financial Networks at UCL's Department of Computer Science and was a member of the Financial Analytics and Computing Research Group. His research there focused on Sustainable Finance, Reputational Risk, and Financial Networks. Maxime earned his MSc and Ph.D. from the Sorbonne School of Economics, specializing in Financial Econometrics and Risk Management.

His research interests include Statistical Methods for Extremes and Dependence, Complex Networks, Machine Learning/Natural Language Processing methods, Asset Pricing, Financial Econometrics, Risk Management, Causality Analysis, and Sustainable Finance.



Ramin Okhrati, IFT Lecturer
Dr Ramin Okhrati
Lecturer in Digital Finance; Programme Director of MSc Banking and Digital Finance

Dr Ramin Okhrati is the head of the AIRiskLab at IFT. He is also a full-time faculty member of the Institute and the Programme Director of the MSc  Banking and Digital Finance. He has extensive experience in theoretical and computational finance (driven by AI and machine learning methods) and financial technologies both from industrial (through consultancy and collaboration) and academic perspectives. His background is in mathematical finance; he holds a BSc, an MSc in Mathematics, and a PhD in Applied Probability with concentration in actuarial and finance. Beside his academic position, he also collaborates with the Bank of England as a senior researcher. Before joining UCL, he worked at the mathematical sciences of the University of Southampton, UK, held a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Financial and Actuarial Mathematics group of Vienna University of Technology in Vienna, Austria and has publications in leading international journals .

Ramin has a wide range of research interests summarised below:    

  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Finance    
  • Financial Mathematics, in particular, topics related to Credit Risk, Hedging, Pricing, and Risk Management    
  • Financial Technologies
  • Stochastic Analysis in Finance, in particular, applications of stochastic processes and risk measures in credit risk modelling

Room 213, Chadwick building, UCL, London
Email: r.okhrati@ucl.ac.uk
IRIS profile: Ramin Okhrati 

Akash Sharma

Associate Lecturer

Email: akash.sharma@ucl.ac.uk


song yang, an IFT PhD student
Dr Yang Song
Associate Lecturer

Yang is the Deputy Director and Head of Studies at UCL Institute of Finance & Technology (IFT). He is responsible for providing hands-on support and guidance for student’s academic progress and overall well-being. His role encompasses career mentoring, study skills tutoring, gathering feedback on teaching and offering assistance to students facing specific learning challenges, all aimed at fostering students' success throughout their IFT studies. Yang is also the graduate tutor at IFT and instructs on the following subjects: 

  • Leadership in FinTech  
  • Public Finance and Innovation 
  • Dissertation 

Prior to joining IFT, he both taught and led modules of Transport Economics at Imperial College and Financial Aspects of Project Engineering Contracting at UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering. Yang’s current research interests include Equity and Fixed-income securities, Financial Modelling and Valuation, Infrastructure Investment, and Derivative Pricing Models. 

Ask Yang about: study support and concerns, daily life as an IFT student, feedback for teaching staff. 

Email: y.song.14@ucl.ac.uk

Li Zhang
Associate Lecturer

Li Zhang is an Associate Lecturer in Finance and Technology at IFT. Before joining IFT, Li was a postdoc in Machine learning group at University of Oxford’s Engineering Science Department and worked on machine learning for social network, finance networks analysis. She obtained her PhD degree in the department of computer science, machine learning group, University of Sheffield. Her PhD research focuses on machine learning, graph representation learning (GRL), and graph neural networks (GNNs), which can be easily applied to economic problems. She published top conference papers (KDD (MLG), WSDM, CIKM, NeurIPS(GRL), ECML(GEM)), as the first author.

Li’s research interests are shown as follows:

  • Machine Learning, Deep Learning, data mining, information retrieval especially in finance-related data.
  • Financial network analysis, social network analysis, graph embedding and graph neural networks and their applications such as asset price prediction, stock market volatility prediction.

Email: ucesl07@ucl.ac.uk

Professional Services Staff