Financial services giant Aegon has announced a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the Edinburgh Futures Institute and the University of Edinburgh Business School, to develop a new approach to financial engagement. The two-year project will see experts from the institutions collaborate to examine ways to improve people’s relationship with money.
Professor Gbenga Ibikunle, Director for Industry, Economy and Society at the University of Edinburgh’s Edinburgh Futures Institute, said:
“The University of Edinburgh’s Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) connects researchers from a range of disciplines to address major industry challenges in a range of sectors, including the Financial Services sector.
“Improving financial wellbeing is one our main focus areas and we are therefore excited to partner with Aegon to help create the tools and interventions that will ultimately help millions of their customers better plan for their financial futures.
“Professor Tina Harrison (University of Edinburgh Business School), the main academic lead on the project, is a leading authority on financial wellbeing, financial education and customer experience and she has collaborated extensively with many organizations in the sector. I have no doubt that this partnership will bring some innovative solutions to customers.’’
Led by interdisciplinary research
The project will involve Aegon’s centre for behavioural research working with academics from the University of Edinburgh and incorporating the latest insights from anthropology and neuroscience, to understand the how the concept of financial wellbeing is linked to people developing a more concrete picture of their future selves.
Visualising one’s future self allows people to develop a more complete picture of the life they want, not just in a financial sense, but where they want to be, how they want to spend their time and who they want to spend it with. The more concretely and meaningfully they connect to their future self, the more likely they are to adapt current behaviour.
Building a collaborative approach
The collaborative and interdisciplinary project is a continuation of Aegon’s focus on financial wellbeing and the concept of finding financial freedom through future planning. It follows on from the recent launch of the Aegon Financial Wellbeing Index, which looks at both money and mindset when measuring financial wellbeing.
Ksenia Grant, Services & Fintech Sector Engagement Manager at Edinburgh Futures Institute helped build the collaborative relationship with Aegon, scoping the project and identifying suitable academics across the University of Edinburgh. Mrs Grant led the company’s engagement with the University, exploring the right route forward, considering various channels for collaborations and supporting the application process for the knowledge transfer partnership.
She will be involved in the project going forward as well, liaising with the participants and helping ensure it unfolds as planned. Her role has been critical for developing a close relationship with Aegon and the University and creating a long-term partnership – and demonstrates the Edinburgh Futures Institute’s aim of bringing together different academic disciplines and different sectors to solve new challenges.
To get in touch with Ksenia Grant with a project or question about working together please email: Ksenia.Grant@ed.ac.uk