AIBE awards top-up funding to Endeavour Research Fellowship recipient, Dr. Rand Low

28 Apr 2015
Dr Rand Low Endeavour Research Fellowship

AIBE has awarded the Endeavour Research Fellowship recipient Dr Rand Low additional top-up funding of AUD 5,000, and the title of an AIBE Scholar. Dr Low is a UQ Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the UQ Business School; his research interests are in the areas of portfolio optimization, volatility & dependence modelling, and superannuation (e.g. pension planning). A short interview with Dr. Low is provided below.

'What is the Endeavour Research Fellowship?

Endeavour Research Fellowships are an internationally competitive, highly-selective fellowships administered by the Australian Federal Government.  These fellowships are designed to build Australia’s reputation for excellence in research and teaching and offer high-achieving Australians a platform to network internationally, increase their knowledge and expertise in their field of research, and pursue professional development opportunities.

What is your research agenda while you are on the Endeavour Research Fellowship?

I will be working at the New York University (NYU) – Stern School of Business on the impact of asymmetric correlations in long-term, multi-period portfolio selection.  It involves understanding the characteristics of equity portfolios that investors tilt their risky-asset portion of their investment portfolios at early and late stages of their investment life cycles in the presence of a financial crisis.
NYU hosts the Volatility Institute, led by Nobel Prize winner, Prof. Robert Engle.  By learning from the practices of world experts in risk management and volatility forecasting, I will be able to conduct research that will influence public policy to minimize the exposure of the Australian superannuation industry to longevity risk (the risk of retirees out-living their pool of retirement funds) and sequencing risk (unfavourable returns on pension funds close to retirement can result in less money for retirement).

Will you be engaging with industry in New York?

Yes, I will be.  I believe it is important for academics to have a collaborative relationship with industry in order to provide insights and frameworks for meeting the challenges of a dynamic economy.   My skillsets include risk management strategies by applying volatility forecasting techniques in risk management strategies and modelling asymmetric correlations across different assets classes. 
I have worked with investment firms in Australia to incorporate innovative modelling and simulation techniques in performance evaluation, and stress-testing active fund strategies across different market scenarios.  I am currently reaching out to investment professionals in New York to apply this knowledge to their unique challenges and co-create new knowledge that can be applied back in Australia.
Engaging with industry is vital for UQ as a strategy to foster innovation and secure its global reputation as a premier destination for research and teaching.   As the areas of finance and investment management are so fast-paced, I believe it is vital to actively engage with industry and bring cutting-edge work practices back into the lecture theatres of universities to further increase the employability of UQ graduates.

Are there any other activities of interest that you will be pursuing while you’re in New York?

I will be running the New York marathon that is held on November 1st on 2015 for Fred’s team that is a cancer research charity. I am passionate about cancer research as I have friends and family who have been afflicted by cancer.  I believe it is so important to support further research to make cancer history.  I am raising funds for this endeavour through the Fred’s Team Fund Raising Page'.