Abrdn, Edinburgh Uni create investment centre

Abrdn and the University of Edinburgh have formed an industry-academic partnership to establish a Centre for Investing Innovation.

The project will received funding of £7.5 million over five years from Abrdn, the Edinburgh-based global investment firm that manages and administers £542 billion of assets.

It will be based within the University’s Edinburgh Futures Institute, based in Quartermile, Edinburgh, which is focused on addressing the critical challenges facing society.

Alan Coutts, Investment Chief Operating Officer, Abrdn, will chair the Centre’s Strategic Opportunities and Futures Board, with Sotirios Sabanis, Director of Knowledge Exchange at the School of Mathematics, acting as lead for the University of Edinburgh as Centre Director.

“Academic and business expertise across multiple disciplines will feed into collaborative research,” said Abrdn.

“This will support investment strategy at Abrdn by leveraging world-class academic insight on the challenges and opportunities facing the company’s clients and the global investment sector.

“It will also drive new understanding of investment-related social and environmental sustainability issues.”

The partnership has been supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation service.

Abrdn CEO Stephen Bird said: “I am really excited about this new partnership with Edinburgh University who’s track record of innovation and commitment to creating positive change is truly world class.

“Together we will explore the great societal challenges of sustainable investing and explore new ways of creating financial wellbeing in a rapidly changing world.

“This supports our goal of helping clients to be better investors and it provides an excellent development opportunity for our people to spend some time outside of financial services applying their knowledge and expertise and learning new skills.”

Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “Through our partnership with Abrdn, our multidisciplinary researchers will be working with a global asset management business to help shape the very future of investment. 

“The University of Edinburgh’s collaborations with commercial partners help deliver innovation and insights that have wide-ranging benefits across society, and I’m proud that we are at the forefront of such industry engagement.”