Man Group extends Oxford-Man Institute funding for University of Oxford’s machine learning research in quantitative finance

11 December 2019

The Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance was founded in 2007 as an innovative collaboration between the University of Oxford and Man Group. It is a research centre within the University’s Department of Engineering Science, and focuses on machine learning in quantitative finance.

The University of Oxford and Man Group today announce that funding support for the Oxford-Man Institute (OMI), a world-leading academic institute for machine learning research in quantitative finance, has been agreed for a further five years. This extension takes Man Group’s commitment to 17 years of continuous funding and support of the OMI, and underscores Man’s commitment to the University’s research in machine learning and data-centric methods for quantitative finance.

The University of Oxford and Man Group have worked in partnership since 2007 when Man Group provided the cornerstone funding for the OMI and simultaneously opened its co-located commercial research laboratory, thus creating exciting new educational and employment opportunities for both academic and commercial quantitative finance researchers. This combined academic-industry mix fosters a stimulating environment for researchers focused on machine learning methodology and its application in finance, enabling the latest advances and expertise to be shared and leveraged.

Since inception, Man has committed over £30 million to the OMI and its quantitative finance research, and continues as the core finance industry partner of the Institute. The OMI also benefits from significant Royal Academy of Engineering and Research Council funding.

Dr Anthony Ledford, Man AHL’s Chief Scientist and Academic Liaison, said:

“Man AHL has been researching commercial applications of machine learning in systematic trading for over a decade, and much of this research is now live within our client investment programmes. Our partnership with the OMI directly connects us with cutting-edge quantitative finance research and provides the opportunity to collaborate with world-leading academics in the field. We are delighted to build on the solid foundations of our existing 12-year collaboration, and eagerly anticipate another 5 years of working closely with the OMI’s outstanding researchers.”

Professor Stephen Roberts, Professor of Machine Learning and Director of the OMI, said:

“We are delighted with Man Group’s continued support of the OMI. Our partnership provides not just critical problem focus, but builds a strong culture of collaboration between researchers in academia and industry, to the benefit of all. Recent years have seen AI and machine learning ever more prominent, from playing Go to advances in autonomous vehicles, and advances seem to arrive at an unprecedented rate. Our keen focus on principled AI for Quantitative Finance within the OMI means that we are able to follow these advances, develop and innovate new ones and work to make them deployable at the heart of the finance industry.”

Sandy Rattray, CIO Man Group, said:

“Our long-running support of machine learning research has made substantive impact at Man Group across numerous alpha and execution areas, delivering significant value to our clients from across the firm. We believe the OMI’s ongoing focus on machine learning and data analytics in quantitative finance will be strongly supportive of the further evolution and development of Man’s investment programmes.”




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