UCL News


UCL partnership with financial services industry

23 October 2009

UCL is a key partner in the Financial Services Knowledge Transfer Network, a new programme to address the major challenges facing the UK financial services industry.

Sir Win Bischoff (Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group)

The initiative, launched this week, aims to bring together the worlds of finance and academia to create practical solutions for today's and tomorrow's financial challenges.

Christopher Clack (UCL Computer Science) won the bid to set up the knowledge transfer network (KTN). Alongside UCL, other leading universities and industry bodies are involved in the collaboration, including the Association of British Insurers and the Chartered Insurance Institute.

The network will define the landscape of available resource in technology and academia, and encourage the application of that resource by engaging in independent studies, generating publications, advising research councils on areas of strategic importance to the sector, holding events, and other activities.

A priority for the Financial Services KTN will be to canvas the views of UK financial services practitioners, in order to identify the major concerns and challenges facing the industry as a whole.

The network is supported by the Technology Strategy Board, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council, and other industry sponsorship.

Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group Sir Win Bischoff addressed influential figures in financial services, academics and partner organisations at the launch event on 20 October. He called for greater and more focused partnership between and among these communities to further support and protect the future prominence of the UK's international financial services industries.

The network builds on Clack's previous work in financial computing, including the establishment of UCL's MSc in Financial Computing in partnership with four leading investment banks, and UCL's virtual trading floor (in partnership with Thomson Reuters).

Sir Peter Middleton (President of the British Bankers' Association, ex-Group Chairman of Barclays and Chancellor of the University of Sheffield) said: "We need to stimulate debate and facilitate collaborative working with academia, government and business. Practical and inclusive approaches like this will be instrumental in moving this forward."

Professor David Rhind (Chairman of the Royal Society Hidden Wealth Report Working Group) added: "The recent Royal Society study into the role of science in the services sector showed we can do much better by bringing together those at the cutting edge in universities with senior players in service businesses. In particular, there has been a serious disconnect between these two groups in parts of the financial services - to our great detriment. I very warmly welcome the initiative of the Technology Strategy Board and its partners in creating a Financial Services Sector Knowledge Transfer network."

Image: Sir Win Bischoff (Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group) giving the keynote  speech at the network launch

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