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People

Based at Cambridge Judge Business School, the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is governed by a Managing Board and consists of the following individuals:

Robert Wardrop

Robert Wardrop

Co-founder and Executive Director (on leave), Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance 

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Robert is a sociologist in the Finance & Accounting subject group at Cambridge Judge Business School. He has a successful track record of investing in and advising small and mid-sized firms in North America, Europe and Asia spanning over 30 years, and this experience led to his interest in understanding how and why alternative channels of finance emerge outside the traditional banking and capital markets system. His current research focuses on small and mid-sized firms that issue bonds as an alternative to bank financing, with the aim of better understanding the decision-making behaviour of firm owners and classes of investors across different economies. In addition to his academic role at Cambridge, Robert currently serves on the Global Advisory Boards of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the School of Business at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada.

Bryan Zhang

Bryan Zhang

Co-founder and Executive Director (interim), Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Bryan's research examines the accumulation and allocation of capital for startups and SMEs through alternative circuits of finance in a geographical and comparative context. He is a co-author of four industry reports on the state of alternative finance both at national and international levels. Bryan has advised and consulted for numerous businesses and institutions including the Royal Society of Arts, the British Business Bank and the European Commission. He is also a Research Associate at the Centre for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance, University of California, Berkeley.

Raghavendra Rau

Raghavendra Rau

 Co-founder and Director (Research), Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Raghu is currently the Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School. He is also Head of the School's Finance & Accounting subject group and a past president of the European Finance Association. Raghu is Co-Editor of Financial Management and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Banking and Finance, the International Review of Finance and the Quarterly Journal of Finance.

Visit Professor Raghavendra Rau's faculty webpage

Garrick Hileman

Garrick Hileman

Senior Research Associate, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Dr Garrick Hileman is a Senior Research Associate at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and a Researcher at the Centre for Macroeconomics. He was recently ranked as one of the 100 most influential economists in the UK and Ireland and he is regularly asked to share his research and perspective with the FT, BBC, CNBC, WSJ, Sky News, and other media. Garrick has been invited to present his research on monetary and financial innovation to government organisations, including central banks and war colleges, as well as private firms such as Visa, Black Rock, and UBS. Garrick has 20 years' private sector experience with both startups and established companies such as Visa, Lloyd's of London, Bank of America, The Home Depot, and Allianz. Garrick's technology experience includes co-founding a San Francisco-based tech incubator, IT strategy consulting for multinationals, and founding MacroDigest, which employs a proprietary algorithm to cluster trending economic analysis and perspective.

Visit Dr Garrick Hileman's website

Mia Gray

Mia Gray

Senior Research Fellow, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Dr Mia Gray is a Senior University Lecturer at the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. She is an economic geographer focusing on how alternative finance, such as crowdfunding, affects regional economies, labour markets, and the distribution of opportunity. Mia is an Editor of the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society. She was also the Acting Director of the Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies.

Bob Wigley

Bob Wigley

Fellow, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Bob is Chairman of NetOTC, First Global Trust Bank (Llamabroo), Justinvesting, Tantalum Corporation, Captive Minds Communications Group and Stonehaven Search. He is the Chairman of the University of Oxford's Centre for Corporate Reputation and a Visiting Fellow to the University. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Cranfield School of Management's Doughty Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility and chairs the Courtyard Appeal for the Royal College of Music and sits on its Council. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has a business degree and an honorary doctorate from Bath University.

He was the Chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe, Middle East and Africa before it was taken over by the Bank of America. In 2010, he was appointed an Ambassador for UK Business by the Prime Minister and chaired the Green Investment Bank Commission for the Chancellor of the Exchequer looking at how the UK might fund its carbon emission reduction obligations. In 2008, he chaired a panel of leading London financial services company CEOs for the incoming Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, producing a major report on how to maintain London's competitiveness in global terms for the decade ahead and now sits on the Mayor's Panel of Economic Advisers.

Between 2011 and February 2015 he was a Non-Executive Director of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority and Chairman of its Audit Committee. He was a member of the International Business Advisory Board of British Airways from April 2012 to Dec 2014. Between 2006 and 2009, Bob was a member of the Court of the Bank of England and of its Risk policy and Audit Committees, prior to which he was a Non-Executive Director of Royal Mail Group and Chairman of its Audit Committee for three years.

John Bates

John Bates

Fellow, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Dr John Bates is Chief Executive Officer at PLAT.ONE. Wall Street & Technology magazine named him one of the "Innovators of the Decade" and Institutional Investor lists him as one of the "Tech 50" most influential technologists. John holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge and was a University Lecturer there until he left to serve as Founder and President of Apama, the revolutionary real-time analytics company. John has also served as Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer at NASDAQ-listed Progress Software. John is the author of the recent book Thingalytics: Smart Big Data Analytics for the Internet of Things - an area in which he is passionate and has broad experience.

Rolf Hickmann

Rolf Hickmann

Research Fellow, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Rolf founded pH Group, now an Experian company, in 1987; a specialised data-analytics consultancy, it focused entirely on the business population of the UK, France, and several other countries, pioneering the extensive use of databases. The pH data, tools and models are still used by the top UK commercial banks (and several in France), most key utilities, telco providers and several insurers. Prior to this Rolf was a Strategy Consultant and Case Leader at the Bolton Consulting Group in Munich, London and Paris. 

Since leaving pH Group in 2012, Rolf has been advising firms and institutions in a personal capacity on a number of projects involving SME financing and credit analysis. He is particularly interested in research that can provide the basis for effective, new funding mechanisms for deserving SMEs (especially in times of market failure), reflecting a data-led understanding of how this population segments, and what contribution each segment makes to the economy at large, as well as in risk-adjusted returns. A specific focus of interest is the cohort of "expanding" firms, which uniquely combine lower default rates with high needs, yet are typically underserved by the mainstream channels. Rolf has a BSc in Physics from the University of Texas (Austin) and an MBA in Finance from University of California, Berkeley.

Mingfeng Lin

Mingfeng Lin

Research Fellow, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Dr Mingfeng Lin is an Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems at the Eller College of Management, University of Arizona. His primary research interest is IT-enabled new markets and novel business models, particularly online crowdfunding and other forms of alternative finance. He has published in journals including Management Science and Information Systems Research.

Tania Ziegler

Tania Ziegler

Research Programme Manager, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Tania is the Research Project Manager at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Cambridge University Judge Business School. Tania's research interests include small business economics and SME utilisation of alternative funding models to access finance. She was the Programme Manager of the Alternative Funding Network at the London-based Knowledge Peers. Previous to her work in alternative finance, Tania specialised in Chinese outward direct investment and was a Fulbright Scholar. Tania studied economics and holds an MSc in China in Comparative Perspective from the London School of Economics.

Kieran Garvey

Kieran Garvey

Policy Programme Manager, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Kieran's research interests include the application of alternative finance within developing countries and renewable energy technologies. He previously worked at Crowdcube, helping over 40 companies raise in excess of £20m. Prior to this, he worked at the UK Crowdfunding Association, increasing the membership base by well over 300 per cent, encompassing the majority of the UK crowdfunding market. Kieran was also a parliamentary advisor, aiding the founding of the APPG on Crowdfunding and Non-Bank Finance. He also helped to establish Bloom MicroVentures, a microfinance social enterprise in Northern Vietnam, inspired by Kiva. He holds an MSc from Imperial College and a BSc from the London School of Economics.

John Burton

John Burton

Research Associate, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Dr John Burton achieved his PhD in astronomy from Queen's University Belfast and has been working in large scale data analysis and modelling for over 10 years. He has worked at a wide variety of institutions in the UK, Ireland and Canada. As part of his extra-curricular activities, he founded a charitable organisation with colleagues which first exposed him to the world of alternative finance as a method of raising money. He was senior writer and editor-in-chief for the site.

Samantha Ridler, Centre for Alternative Finance

Samantha Ridler

Senior Industry and Policy Researcher, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Sam is a Senior Industry and Policy Researcher at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and an independent expert for the European Commission's Access to Risk Finance advisory group. Prior to joining the CCAF, Sam was Manager of the P2P Finance Association (P2PFA), co-ordinating the industry's response to key policy issues, analysing industry data and liaising with key stakeholders such as HMT, HMRC, FCA and BoE. Sam has also been an expert representative at the European Commission's Crowdfunding Stakeholders Forum and spoken at international conferences about the development of the UK P2P lending sector. Sam has a MPhil in Technology Policy from Cambridge Judge Business School and a first class BEng in Digital Communications from the University of Westminster.  

Hungyi Chen, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

Hungyi Chen

Asia-Pacific Region Manager, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Hungyi's research focuses on financial technologies regulation, specifically in crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and online payment. Recently he has researched crowdfunding and its interaction with urban development, especially in the field of renewable energy. His publication, Crowdfunding in Asian Countries and its Interaction with Citizenship, has been included in Law Between Buildings Emergent Global Perspectives in Urban Law (Routledge). He is a co-author of CCAF's 2015-2016 Asia-Pacific Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report. Hungyi is an Assistant Research Fellow, Center for Internet Finance Law Innovation, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He has a three year research stipend  from the Japanese government and the scholarship of internship from Nagoya University during his PhD course in Japan.  

Luke Deer

Luke Deer

Research Associate, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Dr Luke Deer is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate with the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney. His post-doctoral research is funded by a 2015 grant from the Institute of New Economic Thinking for a project on financial innovation and central banking in China, with a focus on the emergence of alternative finance. He has conducted primary research on small and micro enterprise lending in Zhejiang Province in eastern China and he is a joint author of a forthcoming industry report on online peer-to-peer lending in China. He has published with Associate Professor Ligang Song on China's macro payments "imbalances" and on China's financial adjustment pressures in the journal China and World Economy.

Visit Dr Luke Deer's fellows webpage

Kate Belger

Kate Belger

Administrator, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Kate is Administrator for the CCAF team. She has wide experience of administrative practice across the University of Cambridge. She has worked for the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Faculty of Mathematics, as senior secretary supporting a team of academics and researchers. Her College work includes administrative roles in the Mistress' office at Girton College, and the Development Offices of Girton and Murray Edwards College.