Our Vision

The agenda of the Scottish Financial Risk Academy is to create joint industry and academic led global innovations in risk and insurance practice across three core areas: theory, methodology and application.

We focus on bringing expertise from academia, research and practitioners to bear on major quantitative challenges faced by financial services and insurance sectors. Primary areas of innovation are not restricted but they must be quantitative in nature to make impact in practice, with regulations and with research.

We achieve this in a collaborative environment combining practitioners and academics in a unique learning environment. In doing so we seek to foster young quantitative minds by presenting the outcomes of these collaborations in the form of structured problem statements and collaboration opportunities.

We seek industry input to problem formulations that lead to research outcomes, practical project deliverables with real impact in industry and joint funding initiatives.

Membership is free and open to financial services companies or universities with links to Scotland.

John Taylor, B Sc (Hons), Ph D, FFA, President of Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, said:  “Risk management solutions within financial services are often based on pure, abstract mathematics and science, making it imperative for the industry to nurture this relationship with academia and engage with the impressive calibre of academics we have in Scotland. The SFRA offers a unique, collaborative learning environment to help encourage quantitative thinkers and deliver tangible outcomes for industry.

“A healthy relationship between financial services and academia puts Scotland in an ideal position to build a reputation as an international centre of excellence for managing risk within this sector. This is particularly important at a time when the incredible pace of change brought by new technologies is bringing exciting opportunities for businesses as well as new risks.”

Graeme Jones, (MA ACII) CEO of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), said: “By coming under the SFE banner and with the appointment of John Taylor as the first Chairperson, the SFRA will be able to expand its connections with industry and tackle a broader risk agenda through greater collaboration.

“The SFE membership will have the opportunity to directly connect with leading academics in order to better inform their operations around risk while providing world-class learning opportunities for talented individuals. Our competitiveness as an industry will rely on attracting and retaining a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce, the partnership with SFRA offers the platform for us to do that.”

The establishment of the SFRA Group and the appointment of John Taylor as its first Chairperson follows the appointment of Professor Gareth Peters as the Academic Director of the SFRA in August, 2017 brings a complete refresh to the risk management agenda in financial services in Scotland.

Chair Professor for Statistics in Risk and Insurance Gareth W. Peters (CStat-RSS, YAS-RSE, FIOR), SFRA Academic Director, said: “For over a decade the SFRA has continued to evolve to capture the academic communities from Scotland primarily in Heriot-Watt and the University of Edinburgh who are working in quantitative risk, insurance, finance, machine learning, and data science.”

“This new opportunity to develop the SFRA Group within SFE will combine the best of novel academic thinking with world-leading industry practice through a wide variety of joint engagements. The intention is to develop and enhance practice and perspectives on quantitative solutions to risk and insurance problems currently faced by industry in a diverse array of emerging financial risk disciplines, be tailored to practice within Scotland and with the aspiration of bringing world-leading expertise in academia and industry to bear on industry practice and regulatory compliance and decision making processes."

“There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

 John Fitzgerald Kennedy