Overview

Overview

The Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) is a not-for-profit research centre of 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 Australia as an international centre for finance practice, research and education.

We operate five major, ongoing research projects. These are:

  • the Australian Equities Database, which aims to create the first comprehensive digitised record of Australian listed equities data going back to 1926;
  • the CSIRO-Monash Superannuation Research Cluster, a collaboration between CSIRO and four universities to examine issues pertaining to the future of Australia’s superannuation and retirement systems;
  • Financial Integration in the Asia-Pacific, our newest project, which will analyse and provide new insights on Australia’s deepening financial linkages with the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Funding Australia’s Future, initiated in 2012 to better understand the changing dynamics of the financial system and its impact on future economic growth; and
  • the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, which compares and benchmarks retirement income systems in 25 countries and is now entering its eighth year.

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 roundtable discussions; 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 inquiries. 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 be 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 Australian economy.

Research in Monash Business School shapes and addresses the complex business challenges of the 21st century. School’s mission is to engage in the highest-quality research and education to have a positive impact on a changing world. Through this, ACFS and Monash University support Australia as an international centre for finance practice, research and education.

Our Mission, Vision, Code of Conduct, and History are as follows:

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

MCFSACFS 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. In August 2016, Professor Rodney Maddock took over as interim Executive Director.

Annual Reviews

Australian Centre for Financial Studies: Annual Review 2015
Australian Centre for Financial Studies: Annual Review 2014
Australian Centre for Financial Studies: Annual Review 2013
Australian Centre for Financial Studies: Annual Review 2012
Melbourne Centre for Financial Studies: Annual Review 2009 *
Melbourne Centre for Financial Studies: Annual Review 2007-08
Melbourne Centre for Financial Studies: Annual Review 2006-07
Melbourne Centre for Financial Studies: Annual Review 2005-06

* Note: Annual Reviews were not produced in 2010 and 2011.