When considering an Industry Placement as part of your Masters qualification, we understand the nature of applying for an industry project requires the appropriate support.  We offer challenging industry projects, academically reviewed, that offer an important and meaningful placement experience at the beginning of your career.

SFRA are committed to removing barriers for both Industry Partner and Students to achieving a challenging and rewarding placement experience.

SFRA Group Members

The Scottish Financial Risk Academy (SFRA) formed a new initiative with the representative body for Financial Services in Scotland, Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) to create the SFRA Group in 2019.

The SFRA, founded in 2010 by a consortium led by Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, is run by the Academic Director Professor Gareth W. Peters, Chair Professor for Statistics in Risk and Insurance at Heriot Watt University, and administered through the two founding universities.

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 have been 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.

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

Dr John Taylor

Chairperson: Dr John Taylor

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Hymans Robertson

John is currently President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the UK-based professional body with over 30,000 members worldwide. John is leading the greater use of data science and technology within the profession.

John has spent the majority of his career in commercial leadership roles for a variety of product providers, including as Managing Director at NEST. He has innovated throughout his career to create propositions that deliver for customers.

Most recently, John has been working on “robo-advice”. This involves making actuarial modelling accessible and meaningful to consumers as they seek to make sense of the financial options available to them.

Prof Gareth Peters

Academic Director: Prof. Gareth Peters

School of Mathematics and Computer Science, Heriot Watt University

Prof. Gareth W. Peters is the 'Chair Professor for Risk and Insurance' in the Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics, in Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Previously he held tenured positions in the Department of Statistical Sciences, University College London, UK and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Prof. Peters is also an elected member of the Young Academy of Scotland in the Royal Society of Edinburgh (YAS-RSE) and an elected Fellow of the Institute of Operational Risk (FIOR). He was also the Nachdiploma Lecturer in Machine Learning for Risk and Insurance at ETH Zurich in the Risk Laboratory.

He has made in excess of 150 international invited presentations, speaker engagements including numerous key note presentations. He has delivered numerous professional training courses to c-suite executive level industry professionals as well as numerous central banks.

He has published in excess of 150 peer reviewed articles on risk and insurance modelling, 2 research text books on Operational Risk and Insurance as well as being the editor and contributor to 3 edited text books on spatial statistics and Monte Carlo methods.

Graeme Jones

Director: Graeme Jones

Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) Chief Executive

Graeme Jones was appointed as Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) in January 2016.

Graeme’s role focuses strongly on working across the SFE membership to understand the industry’s diverse needs and external influences which shape the choices of its customers. Working with the membership, other industry bodies and partners, Graeme represents the needs and views of the industry to governments and regulators in Scotland, London and Brussels.

Before joining SFE, Graeme has held a number of senior posts in some of the UK’s largest financial services organisations. His most recent post was Senior Partner – Banking and Financial Services at Experian and prior to this he has held the posts of; Head of Distribution for Aviva, Head of Regulated Sales at RBS Group and Manager of Strategy and Operations at Standard Life.

Graeme is a graduate of Aberdeen University, is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and a Chartered Insurer.

Steering Committee

David Clancy

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Gary Marshall

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Andrew Dickson


Ross Millar


Stephen Pashley

Baillie Gifford

Andrew Cunningham


Stephen Aubrey


Bruce Harrison


Peter Brading

Brodies LLP

Robert McKechnie


Stuart Thomson


Stephen Marshall

Heriot Watt University

Beatrice Pelloni

Heriot Watt University

Margaret  McCaig


Matthew Stubbs


Simon Jones

Hymans Robertson

Fiona Darwin

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

Leigh-Ann Plenderleith

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

Stephen Jones

Kames Capital

Craig Hamilton


Martin Friel

Lloyds Banking Group

Sarah Kenrick

Lloyds Banking Group

Ruth Leslie

M&G - Prudential

Alan Watson

Morgan Stanley

Stewart Gray

Phoenix Group

Katrina Hallpike

Price Waterhouse Coopers

Stuart Young

Sainsbury's Bank

Sotirios Sabanis

University of Edinburgh

Iain Gordon

University of Edinburgh

John Fisher

Scientific Committee


Mark Briers

Alan Turing Institute

Programme Director, Alan Turing Institute

Professor of Cyber Security and AI at Cranfield University




Dimitris Christopoulios

Heriot Watt University

Associate Research Professor & Deputy Director of Research, School of Social Sciences

Dean of Executive Education, Department of Sustainability, Governance & Methods, MODUL University, Vienna




Cathal Cummins

Heriot Watt University

Assistant Professor in Mathematics, School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences


Mattias Fahrenwelt

Heriot Watt University

Associate Professor of Actuarial Science and Deputy Head of Department

Programme Director for the MSc Financial Mathematics, a joint degree programme with the University of Edinburgh




Abdul Hajiali

Heriot Watt University

Assistant Professor in Mathematics, School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences


Guillaume Bagnarosa

Rennes School of Business

Assistant Professor, Finance and Accounting, School of Business




Andrea Macrina

University College London

Reader in Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences


Galina Andreeva

University of Edinburgh

Senior Lecturer in Management Science, Business School




Goncalo Dos Reis

University of Edinburgh

Lecturer at School of Mathematics, Probability Group


Ben Goddard

University of Edinburgh

Lecturer at School of Mathematics


Sotorias Sabanis

University of Edinburgh

Reader (Associate Professor), School of Mathematics


David Siska

University of Edinburgh

Director of MSc in Computational Mathematical Finance, MSc in Financial Modelling and Optimization, Lecturer in Mathematics, School of Mathematics


Chris Speed

University of Edinburgh

Programme Director, Design Informatics, School of Design

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

email: stephen.marshall@hw.ac.uk

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