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22nd/March/2017:  Formal launch of RiskLab.

The agenda of the launch event on the 22nd/March (Wednesday):

  • 3:30-4:30pm: first joint meeting of RiskLab Advisory Board members and Academic Members
    • Overview of current activities at RiskLab
    • Discuss research plans and propose new activities in the next 12 months.
  • 4:30-5:30pm: two half-hour seminars open to the public:
    • Presentation 1: ETFs – A toolkit for investors and how ETF strategies work  by Dr Roger Cohen of BetaShare
    • Presentation 2: Blockchain and its applications, by Dr Mark Staples at Data61 of CSIRO
  • 5:30-6:30pm: drinks/nibbles and networking

Location: Level 6, Tower Two, 727 Collins St, Docklands, Melbourne. For details, please download: LocationForRiskLabLaunch.

22nd/March/2017: Public Seminar at RiskLab

4:30-5:00pm: Presentation 1: ETFs – A toolkit for investors and how ETF strategies work , by Dr Roger Cohen

Abstract: The ETF market in Australia is experiencing exponential growth. The key driver of this is that they are an effective tool for all classes of investor, ranging from individuals to large institutions. An overview of why this is the case, how ETFs work, some examples of current ETF strategies, and what is on the horizon will be presented. We will also focus on market making and the role of market makers, which underpins the success of ETFs, and how it has evolved with the market.

Dr Roger Cohen: is the principal and founder of Portable Beta and also a senior advisor to BetaShares, with a particular focus on product development. He also lectures on risk management and other topics in finance. Roger was previously a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank (Sydney & London), where he ran the EMEA index trading desk, and was involved from inception with the launch of the highly successful db x-trackers ETF platform. Roger has also worked at Macquarie Bank, where he was involved in building the global index swap and delta one trading capability. Prior to his career in the financial markets, Roger was an academic, lecturing in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. Roger has PhD and BE (hons1) degrees from the University of Sydney. He was a Fulbright Scholar in the US in 1988, and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia.

5:00-5:30pm: Presentation 2: Blockchain and its applications, by Dr Mark Staples

Abstract: Blockchains are an emerging technology first used for digital currency transactions in Bitcoin.  New blockchain platforms are now recognised as a more general-purpose technology – a kind of distributed database and computational platform that could in principle be used in any industry. This may in turn create new fintech opportunities, for example in trade finance.  There is as yet little use of blockchains in production systems, but this may begin to change in 2017. I will review some of the use case opportunity areas, identify some of the design trade-offs when using blockchains instead of conventional technologies, and discuss the development of trustworthy blockchain-based systems. This talk is based partly on emerging results from NISA-funded projects with The Treasury which were announced in the 2016 budget, and which are nearing completion.

Dr Mark Staples: leads the Software Systems group at Data61, CSIRO, which is conducting research into blockchain technology, analytics architectures, behavioural analytics, business process systems, and legal informatics. His research interests are in software engineering and the philosophy of engineering, and he has worked in the software engineering industry in Australia, on implantable medical devices, electronic payments systems, and distributed control systems. He holds a BSc and BInfTech (Hons) from University of Queensland and a PhD from University of Cambridge. He is a Conjoint Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW. He is a member of Australia’s standardization committee on blockchain and DLT (IT-041), under Australia’s leadership of the Secretariat of the International Technical Committee for Blockchain Standards (ISO/TC 307).