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Australian Centre for Financial Studies

The Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) is a not-for-profit research centre affiliated with Monash Business School. ACFS specialises in leading-edge finance and investment research. We aim to boost the global credentials of Australia’s financial industry, bridge the gap between academia and industry, and support Melbourne as an international centre for finance practice, research and education.

We facilitate linkages between academics, industry practitioners and government, and draw on the expertise and experience of each of these groups to promote the transmission of knowledge throughout the greater finance community. We have developed a strong reputation as an independent voice on industry-relevant matters. We contribute to public debate on financial sector issues; conduct detailed, expert analysis; deliver unbiased contracted research to industry partners; host a wide range of knowledge-sharing activities including conferences, lecture series, lunchtime briefings, twilight seminars, and roundtables; and facilitate three Research Program Committees that link senior industry and academic leaders in the fields of banking, funds management and insurance. We also engage with major government reviews such as the Financial System Inquiry, Tax White Paper and Productivity Commission reports. Our work is regularly cited in the media, both domestically and overseas.

The theme that comes through all of our research and events is consistent: that financial services as an industry is about providing an essential service, whether that is facilitating payments, creating credit, accumulating wealth or mitigating risk. Our research speaks to how the industry is collectively providing for the needs of the broader economy.

Mission

To support the essential role of financial services in the economy through evidence-based research, insightful dialogue and meaningful collaboration across industry, government and academia.

Vision

To be recognised internationally as the pre-eminent research centre for facilitating knowledge creation, knowledge transfer and thought leadership in the Australian financial sector.

Code of Research Conduct

We conduct independent research into issues related to the Australian financial sector.

Contracted research may be undertaken for industry partners. More commonly, we also conduct research for the purpose of generating public debate about issues of importance to the financial sector and the wider community.

The strength of ACFS research is that it is well informed by industry practice and input. ACFS research staff have a high level of industry expertise, and we also draw on our wide network of academic and practitioner contributors.

We produce accessible and relevant research that is non-partisan and non-sectoral in its perspective. While we welcome a diversity of views, the value of our work is underpinned by its independence.

History

MCFS began life on 18 August, 2005 as the Melbourne Centre for Financial Studies, with seed funding from the Victorian government. The initial members of the consortium were the University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University and Finsia (Financial Services Institute of Australasia). The inaugural Executive Director of MCFS was Professor Kevin Davis.

In 2010, MCFS was re-launched as the Australian Centre for Financial Studies. It operated as a consortium of Monash University, RMIT University and Finsia, with the University of Melbourne, Victoria University, Deakin University and Griffith University contributing funds as ‘Associate Universities’ at various times. Professor Deborah Ralston served as Executive Director from 2009 to 2015.

In 2016, the consortium was disbanded and ACFS formally became a research centre of Monash Business School. Amy Auster was appointed Executive Director. ACFS retains close working links with its former Consortium and Associate Universities but continues to be operationally independent.