Our research

Our research

The Department of Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies has a strong research program built on a collaborative multi-disciplinary approach. We pursue knowledge that puts us at the forefront of our disciplines in Australia and internationally.

Faculty complement their academic endeavours with significant industry experience and a real interest and enthusiasm for applied work.

The research of the Department is neatly captured by six key areas.

Commodity markets and climate impacts 

Mining and the export of natural resources are vital contributors to the Australian economy that are highly dependent on growth expectations and climate change adaptation policies. This research network focuses on econometric models and their application to commodity, energy, weather derivative and carbon emission markets. It aims to describe the complex behaviour and structure of these markets and to quantify financial and economic risks. Research also measures the risks of climate-impacted hazards on the Australian economy and evaluates strategies for mitigation and adaptation to climatic change. Finally, it aims to relate the impact of renewable energy policies to Australian commodity and financial markets.

Human factors in business and finance

Research in this area is cross-disciplinary, drawing on strengths in finance, accounting, economics, management, ethics, psychology, financial literacy and linguistics—to develop an understanding of human behaviour in financial contexts. We examine how humans behave within financial institutions and how individuals make decisions and interpret financial information, using broad frameworks outside the traditional scope of economics and finance. Our findings: inform regulation; increase the resilience of financial institutions through improved governance and culture; and guide the design of more consumer-focused reports, products and services.

Risk, data analytics and insurance 

Modelling and management of risk ensures the financial security and prosperity of individuals and supports the effective operation of insurance and financial markets. Big data has changed the nature of insurance and financial services, and created an increased need for techniques to model, price, analyse and manage financial risks. This research develops and applies innovative quantitative and data analytic techniques to model and manage

This research group promotes practical and useful research on the behaviour of firms and their relationship with capital markets. Key research topics include: the impact of corporate governance on firm outcomes, including executive compensation, boards of directors and CEOs; the governance of financial institutions; corporate strategy and corporate investment; valuation; and interactions between financial markets and corporate decisions. These issues are examined in large financial markets such as the U.S. and Australia, and in emerging markets and Islamic economies.

Banking and regulation

This research area provides insights into the performance, governance and strategic interactions of financial institutions, and the costs and benefits of regulating their activities. The Australian banking sector has experienced significant changes and unprecedented growth in the past 20 years. It has recently been the subject of an extensive enquiry after questions arose about market behaviour and compliance—with recommendations currently being implemented. Current topical research projects investigate Australian bank capital, and international bank regulation and governance. These explorations include: bank capital and provisioning buffers; implicit subsidies evident in bond spreads; the impact of capital requirements on bank funding costs; determinants and outcomes of bank risk governance in the post-crisis period; and the effects of diversification in banking organisations.

Financial mathematics and actuarial mathematics

Mining and the export of natural resources are vital contributors to the Australian economy that are highly dependent on growth expectations and climate change adaptation policies. This research network focuses on econometric models and their application to commodity, energy, weather derivative and carbon emission markets. It aims to describe the complex behaviour and structure of these markets and to quantify financial and economic risks. Research also measures the risks of climate-impacted hazards on the Australian economy and evaluates strategies for mitigation and adaptation to climatic change. Finally, it aims to relate the impact of renewable energy policies to Australian commodity and financial markets.

Corporate finance and governance

The Department of Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies has a strong research program built on a collaborative multi-disciplinary approach. We pursue knowledge that puts us at the forefront of our disciplines in Australia and internationally.

Faculty complement their academic endeavours with significant industry experience and a real interest and enthusiasm for applied work.

The research of the Department is neatly captured by six key areas.

Staff areas of expertise

Lecturer Topics

Prof David Pitt

Income protection insurance and related modelling, Model selection with actuarial applications, Linear modelling with actuarial applications

Prof Ken Siu

Mathematical finance, Actuarial science, Risk management, Stochastic calculus, Filtering and control

Prof Gary Tian

Political connections, uncertainty and corruption, CEO compensation/turnover, State ownership and family control, Audit opinions and auditor choice, Bank loans and Trade credit, Investment efficiency and Mergers and Acquisitions, Chinese capital markets

Prof Stefan Trueck

Risk Management (Credit and Operational Risk), Asset Pricing, Energy Markets, Financial Economics, Carbon Trading and Economics of Climate Change, Real Estate Economics, Econometrics of Financial Markets

Prof Piet de Jong

Financial risk, Statistics, Insurance mathematics, Time series and forecasting, Econometrics, Mathematical psychology, Quantitative ecology

A/Prof Jackie Li

Mortality and longevity modelling and pricing, Stochastic reserving methods for general insurance

A/Prof Geoff Luodon

Accounting and corporate governance, Financial risk management, Derivative pricing and hedging, Asset pricing

A/Prof Leonie Tickle

Mortality forecasting, Mortality modelling and analysis, Longevity risk and insurance

A/Prof Sue Wright

Financial Regulation, Financial Analysis, Corporate Governance, Banking in Australia

A/Prof Xian Zhou

Risk theory, Survival analysis, Loss models, Credibility theory

Dr Lorenzo Casavecchia


Dr James Cummings

Commercial banks, Pension funds, Prudential regulation, Futures markets, Market microstructure

Dr Lurion De Mello

Energy Economics, Financial Economics, Investments, Econometrics of Financial Markets

Jim Farmer

Term insurance, Monte Carlo Markov Chain simulations, Margin on services profit reporting, Student progression rates, Annuities, Surrender value, Actuarial websites

Shauna Ferris

Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies, Underwriting, Risk classification and discrimination, Adverse selection, Superannuation, Financial reinsurance

Dr Jiwook Jang

Financial and insurance risks, Catastrophe insurance modelling, Financial derivatives pricing

Dr Egon Kalotay

Accounting and Corporate Governance, Asset pricing, Derivatives, Credit risk management

Dr Timothy Kyng

Financial decision making, Valuation of complex financial contracts, Finance education, Executive share option valuation, Application of mathematics and statistics to finance, Insurance and actuarial science

Dr Sachi Purcal


Dr Mehdi Sadeghi

Capital market, Emerging markets finance, Islamic banking and finance

Dr Ryle Perera

Mathematical Finance, Stochastic Control, Financial Engineering

Dr Chi Truong

Catastrophic Risk Modelling, Real Option Analysis, Environmental and Resource Economics, Financial Risk Modelling

Toomas Truuvert

Learning and teaching practices in higher education

Dr Fan Yu

Corporate Finance, Executive Compensation, Contract Theory, Corporate Governance, Capital Structure, Cash Policy, Institutional Investors

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