New €4.7m financial services research centre announced


A NEW financial services research centre that will conduct studies into financial mathematics and economics is to be established. Its work should feed into the large number of companies involved in the Irish Financial Services Centre (IFSC).

Tánaiste Mary Coughlan announced the €4.7 million Financial Mathematics and Computational Cluster (FMC2) yesterday during National Maths Week.

It is one of a number of strategic research “clusters” involving academic and private sector research partners.

These are co-funded by Science Foundation Ireland and by the companies involved.

The new centre will conduct financial mathematics research, including economics, with the work largely computer-based. Its initial focus will be on the development of theory and methods for asset management.

University College Dublin’s Prof Anthony Brabazon has been named head of FMC2. It will involve extensive collaboration, however, with partners including Dublin City University, NUI Maynooth, University of Ulster, University of California Los Angeles, Columbia University, Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. Industrial partners signed up so far include Pioneer Investments, Ryan Capital and the Institute of Bankers in Ireland.

Ms Coughlan emphasised the value of the new centre given the importance of financial service activity at the docklands-based IFSC. It produces annual exports worth €22 billion, representing 35 per cent of our service exports, and employs more than 25,000 people. The new cluster demonstrated that advanced research was not necessarily theoretical or removed from the daily reality of business, the Tánaiste said.

The new centre would be of “strategic relevance” to the financial services sector here, said Prof Brabazon.

It represented “a pivotal element of national infrastructure”.

It would also provide a steady stream of highly qualified graduates able to take up positions in financial services.