Scottish Financial Risk Academy,

Room EMB 1.12,

Earl Mountbatten Building,

Riccarton Campus,

Heriot-Watt University,

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK EH14 4AS

Programme Coordinator

Stephen Marshall

office: 0131 451 8440


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© 2018 by Prof. Gareth W. Peters on behalf of the SFRA. Proudly created with

Innovating in Quantitative Data Analytics for Risk Management and Insurance Practice since 2010.

Scottish Financial Risk Academy Profile

Established in April 2010, the Scottish Financial Risk Academy (SFRA) is dedicated to improving the understanding of financial risk and insurance modelling through industry-academic interaction.

It runs a series of Knowledge Exchange activities, which include an annual Risk Colloquia, monthly Quant Forum, Knowledge Transfer Workshops, project placements for MSc and PhD students, and postgraduate course modules taught by industry professionals.

Since Prof. Alexander McNeil founded the SFRA, it has been through two prior phases of operation. Its core membership has evolved over this time as have the areas of relevance to risk and insurance modelling in Scotland.


In response the SFRA is entering into an exciting new phase of innovation under the leadership of incoming Director Prof. Gareth W. Peters and the capable stewardship of the steering committee comprising core membership from Heriot-Watt University, the University of Edinburgh and leading industry partners. 

The Scottish Financial Risk Academy (SFRA) has forged a new initiative with the representative body for Financial Services in Scotland, Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) to create the SFRA Group.

By connecting the SFRA and the two universities with SFE the efforts of both academia and the financial services industry within the remit of risk management will be combined and strengthened. The intended goals are to continue to bring to bear on industry practice rigorous approaches to modelling as well as knowledge transfer in training the next-generation of financial risk, insurance, data science and fintech sector professionals.

Additional Information


Governance Structure

Academic Director

Steering Committee

Scientific Panel

Financial and Insurance Industry



University of Edinburgh

Professional Societies/Institutes

Steering Committee (2018)

Current members of the Steering Group are:

  • Professor Gareth W. Peters (Director and Co-Chair)

  • Professor John Hibbert (Co-Chair)

  • Bruce Harrison, Managing Director, BlackRock Solutions Limited

  • Craig Turnbull, Managing Director, Moody's Analytics UK

  • Garry Marshall, Standard Life Aberdeen

  • Owen Kelly, Chief Executive, Scottish Financial Enterprise

  • Graeme Jones Scottish Financial Enterprises Business School Forum

  • Professor Angus Macdonald, Department of Actuarial Mathematics & Statistics, Heriot-Watt University

  • ......, Scottish Board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

  • Davey Fitch, Industry Liason for Edinburgh University

  • Representative of Edinburgh University

  • Representative of Heriot-Watt University

Scientific Panel (2018)

Current members of the Scientific Panel are:

  • Professor Gareth W. Peters (Director and Co-Chair) Department of Actuarial Mathematics & Statistics, Heriot-Watt 

  • Professor Angus Macdonald, Department of Actuarial Mathematics & Statistics, Heriot-Watt University

  • Professor Iain Gordon, Head of Department of Mathematics, Univesity of Edinburgh

  • Professor Beatrice Pelloni, Head of Department of Mathematics, Heriot-Watt University

  • Professor Pavel V. Shevchenko, Department of Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies, Maquarie University, Australia

  • Dr. Guillaume Bagnarossa, ESC Rennes Bussiness School, France

  • Dr. Andrea Macrina, Department of Mathematics, University College London

  • Dr. Matthias Fahrenwaldt, Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics, Heriot-Watt University


Founding Members


Scottish Financial Risk Academy History

Phase 1 & 2:


A Response to the Financial Crisis

The financial crisis of 2007-08 served to illustrate the vulnerability of the Scottish financial services sector to financial risk. The increasing sophistication of financial instruments, the increasing complexity of financial risks and the increasing importance of financial regulation make it essential for Scotland to promote knowledge-exchange activities that focus on the quantitative side of financial risk with its foundations in mathematical modelling. The current and future competitive advantage of Scottish companies is critically dependent on having access to a highly technically-skilled and knowledgeable labour force, and the involvement of the academic sector is crucial to guaranteeing this.

Knowledge Exchange: Demand-Led Initiative 

A process of consultation with industry established that there was demand in particular for activities that: (1) provide advanced technical training opportunities for employees and clients; (2) give access to the most able and best-trained students; (3) allow rapid evaluation of the latest research coming from Academia; (4) foster interaction on a more regular basis with academic experts, both Scottish-based and international; (5) stimulate interaction between industry peers on matters of common interest such as financial services regulation.

Phase 3:

Establishment of SFRA Group and appointment of first Chairperson
The SFRA Group was established in March 2019 as a working group of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) with Dr John Taylor, President-elect of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and Partner at Hymans Robertson, appointed as the group’s first Chairperson. In this role he will lead the steering committee of this new combined initiative.