Colonial First State and UTS to collaborate on analysis and insights

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In summary: 
  • UTS data researchers will work with Colonial First State (CFS) to better understand the investment and superannuation landscape under a new collaborative agreement
  • The work will allow CFS to observe complex relationship patterns between investors, employers, financial planners and competitors and deliver insights with the potential to transform the industry

Investment and superannuation provider Colonial First State (CFS) will collaborate with University of Technology Sydney data scientists to better understand how Australians engage with their superannuation and wealth.

Under the landmark CFS-UTS agreement, researchers from UTS's Advanced Analytics Institute (AAi) will collaborate with CFS on a range of programs, projects and activities to deliver new insights into business models, processes and the needs of customers.

One of the first collaborative outcomes is a set of predictive and prescriptive models to help CFS understand which customers are more likely to redeem their investment in the near future.

The models allow CFS to observe complex relationship patterns between investors, employers, financial planners and competitors, and achieve more accurate predictions than other, more traditional approaches.

CFS Executive General Manager, Linda Elkins, said the agreement with UTS demonstrated CFS's strong credentials in innovation and insight.

"We firmly believe in the power of data analytics and already have strong in-house capabilities. UTS people and CFS people will now have opportunities to work together on practical projects in which everyone can develop their skills," Ms Elkins said.

"We particularly look forward to exploring deeper insights using some of UTS's highly innovative data analysis techniques to provide richer solutions for our customers and their advisers."

Ms Elkins said the advisers CFS deal with most regularly understand and value the unique insights CFS already shares with them about their business models and processes. "The relationship between CFS and UTS really broadens the potential for delivering more and deeper insights in the future," she said.

Dean of the UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT, Professor Ian Burnett, said UTS is driving excellence and innovation through industry engagement.

"UTS is a world-class research intensive university with an established reputation for innovative and practice-based approaches to partnering with industry," Professor Burnett said.

"The UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT has always had a strong focus on collaborative research with the aim of putting the best research tools into the hands of practitioners.

"The work Colonial First State is doing with the AAi puts that goal into action, ensuring that pioneering research is being applied to deliver real-world impact."

The agreement means both parties will expand a framework of mutually beneficial programs, projects and activities which include collaborative research projects, an industry doctorate program, HDR/PhD student projects including student internships, capstone projects, training and development, contract research and other opportunities.

"CFS and UTS can collaborate to develop the most talented digital and analytics people who will provide core critical thinking and practical insights about our business and advisers' businesses. Working with UTS, I believe CFS has the potential to transform our industry," Ms Elkins said.