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Robert Wardrop

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Robert Wardrop

Faculty (Professor level) in Management Practice
Director & Co-founder of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF)

BCom (Queen’s University), MBA (University of Chicago Booth School of Business), MSc (LSE), PhD (University of Cambridge)

Research interests

Sociology of financial markets; trust; comparative institutionalism; innovation; entrepreneurship.

Subject group: Finance

Professional experience

Bob is an economic sociologist interested in understanding how and why channels and instruments of finance emerge outside the traditional financial system and how this impacts regulators, incumbent financial institutions and consumers. In addition to his role in the School, Bob is a member of the Steering Committee for the Cambridge Centre for Data-Driven Discovery (C2D3), an interdisciplinary research centre at Cambridge bringing together expertise from across academic departments and industry to drive research into the analysis, understanding, and use of big data. 

Prior to pursuing his academic career in 2010, Bob had an international career as a professional investor, most recently as a Managing Director in the investment group of one of the largest privately-owned companies in the United States where he was responsible for a portfolio of European corporate debt and equity investments. He has held several board directorships and advisory roles with academic, governmental and commercial organisations over the course of both his academic and non-academic career.

Selected publications

Here are a selection of Robert Wardrop’s publications. Please see the “Selected publications” tab above for a more comprehensive list.

Wardrop, R., Rau, R. and Zingales, L. (eds.) (2020) The Palgrave handbook of technological finance. Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan. (forthcoming)

Zhang, B., Rowan, P., Wardrop, R. et al (2018) Early lessons on regulatory innovation to enable inclusive fintech. Cambridge: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

Zhang, B., Wardrop, R., Garvey, K. et al (2017) The Africa and Middle East alternative finance benchmarking report. Cambridge: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

Wardrop, R. and Ziegler, T. (2016) “A case of regulatory evolution: a review of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s approach to crowdfunding.” CESifo DICE Report, 14(2): 23-32

Wardrop, R., Rosenberg, R., Zhang, B. et al (2016) Breaking new ground: the Americas alternative finance benchmarking report. Cambridge: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

Zhang, B., Deer, L. Wardrop, B. et al (2016) Harnessing potential: the Asia-Pacific alternative finance benchmarking report. Cambridge: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

Journal articles

Zhang, B.Z., Wardrop, R., Rau R. and Gray, M. (2015) “Moving mainstream: benchmarking the European alternative finance market.” Journal of Financial Perspectives, 3(3): 60-76

Wardrop, R. and Ziegler, T. (2016) “A case of regulatory evolution: a review of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s approach to crowdfunding.” CESifo DICE Report, 14(2): 23-32

Books, monographs, reports & case studies

Wardrop, R., Rosenberg, R., Zhang, B. et al (2016) Breaking new ground: the Americas alternative finance benchmarking report. Cambridge: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

Zhang, B., Deer, L. Wardrop, B. et al (2016) Harnessing potential: the Asia-Pacific alternative finance benchmarking report. Cambridge: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

Zhang, B., Wardrop, R., Garvey, K. et al (2017) The Africa and Middle East alternative finance benchmarking report. Cambridge: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

Zhang, B., Rowan, P., Wardrop, R. et al (2018) Early lessons on regulatory innovation to enable inclusive fintech. Cambridge: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

Wardrop, R., Rau, R. and Zingales, L. (eds.) (2020) The Palgrave handbook of technological finance. Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan. (forthcoming)

Genome’s first industry collaborators

CMS, Grant Thornton UK LLP, Macfarlanes, and Mastercard to collaborate with the Regulatory Genome Project at the University of Cambridge, a new…

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Collaboration network expands in Asia Pacific

Agreement between Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and Asian Development Bank Institute to accelerate tech-enabled innovation and knowledge sharing. A research agreement…

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Looking at 2021

Cambridge Judge faculty talk about what to expect in 2021 in areas ranging from manufacturing to the workplace to the arts. Predictions…

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The Regulatory Genome Project

The University of Cambridge announces the launch of the Regulatory Genome Project to sequence the world's regulatory text through machine learning. The…

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Knowledge network launched to support the sustainable development of fintech markets

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) today launched the Cambridge Alternative Finance Collaboration Network (CAFCN), a global network providing the necessary…

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Global impact

Cryptoasset study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge is cited by the Government of The Bahamas in new…

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Regulatory dilemma

Policymakers face a big test on whether to support fintechs given increased competition from big tech and incumbent banks says Dr Robert…

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New MENA region collaboration agreement

Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and ADGM Academy sign bilateral research agreement to facilitate tech-enabled financial innovation across MENA region and globally.…

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New interactive Bitcoin mining map launched

New mining map by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance provides increased transparency of the industry for investors, policymakers, researchers and general…

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Second Global Enterprise Blockchain Benchmarking Study

Hype is slowing being replaced by business value, says the 2nd Global Enterprise Blockchain Benchmarking Study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative…

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‘Deep thought’ on Libra

Size and scale of Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency poses "questions for society and government", a top Financial Conduct Authority tells the annual conference…

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Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI)

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance launches a new real-time index tracking the total electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network. The Cambridge…

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Reaching new heights

The alternative finance market in North, Central and South America grew 26 per cent to $44.3 billion in 2017, mostly in the…

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Alternative finance (The Cambridge Judge Business Debate podcast series)

We've heard all the buzz phrases, ranging from 'peer-to-peer lending' to 'cryptocurrencies'. But behind the hype, what exactly is alternative finance, and…

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Cryptocurrency growth

Cryptocurrency benchmarking study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance provides snapshot of evolving industry. The first global cryptocurrency benchmarking study, issued…

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The Africa and Middle East Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report

African and Middle East alternative finance markets totaled more than $475 million in 2013-2015, with growth of 59 per cent to $242…

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Digital disruption in banking

Banks may be relatively unaffected so far by digital developments in finance, but that could quickly change owing to the trust factor,…

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“Sustaining Momentum” – European Alternative Finance Industry Report

The European online alternative finance market grew 92 per cent to €5.4 billion in 2015, according to the second annual survey by…

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Harnessing potential

The Asia-Pacific alternative finance market grew 323 per cent to $102.8 billion in 2015, led by four-fold growth to more than $100…

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New research shows UK online alternative finance market grows to £3.2 billion in 2015

In 2015 the UK online alternative finance sector grew 84 per cent, facilitating £3.2 billion in investments, loans and donations, according to…

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$1 million grant secured for the study of alternative finance

CME Group Foundation grants $1 million to support the study of alternative finance by Cambridge Judge Business School. The University’s Cambridge Centre…

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Do you qualify? Banker turned academic, Robert Wardrop, says that borrowers who rely on affordability alone may still default

Robert Wardrop is worried about behaviour. In fact he was so worried about it that he left behind 30 years' experience in…

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Alternative finance: all grown up and coming to a business near you

One of the less predictable consequences of the financial crisis has been the growth of alternative finance providers, particularly online platforms. These…

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Cambridge Independent: Regulatory Genome Project is ‘sequencing’ financial regulations worldwide

Dr Robert Wardrop, Faculty (Professor level) in Management Practice and Director & Co-founder of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, writes about…

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Finextra: Mastercard joins Regulatory Genome Project

The Regulatory Genome Project at the University of Cambridge will collaborate with CMS, Grant Thornton UK LLP, Macfarlanes and Mastercard to address…

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Business Weekly: Cambridge-Singapore alliance to speed fintech research and commercialisation

New research agreement signed by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and the Cambridge Centre…

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Forbes: Bringing sanity to global financial regulation

Dr Robert Wardrop, Director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at Cambridge Judge Business School, comments on the new Regulatory…

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Crowdfund Insider: The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance launches collaboration network

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at Cambridge Judge Business School, launches global collaboration network. The Cambridge Alternative Finance Collaboration Network…

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Mirage News: Cambridge launches Regulatory Genome Project

Drawing on research from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at Cambridge Judge Business School and the Department of Computer Science…

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Business Weekly: Cambridge drives FinTech and digital intel deeper into crucial territories

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) based at Cambridge Judge Business School, and the Ioannis Gregoriou School of Business Administration at…

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Sigma Live: Strategic synergy of the European University of Cyprus with the CCAF

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), based at Cambridge Judge Business School, and the Ioannis Gregoriou School of Business Administration at…

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Crowdfund Insider: Global cryptoasset benchmarking study: Updates on digital asset ecosystem during period of growth

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) has released 3rd report covering the digital asset sector with the Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study.…

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Crowdfund Insider: Second Global Blockchain Report: Enterprise utilisation and network development

The second Global Enterprise Blockchain Benchmarking Study from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance says that hype is slowly being replaced by…

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City Press: How technology is driving a revolution in financial services

Dr Robert Wardrop, Director of the Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, says technology is “the most significant transformative…

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Fintek News: Cryptoasset global regulations made simple

A report by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is featured in the article. The report looked at the global regulatory landscape…

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EXAME: The days when we interact with a human in the bank are disappearing quickly

An interview with Dr Robert Wardrop, Co-founder and Director of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, where he discusses how technology is changing…

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Financial Times: Business schools race to offer lessons in blockchain and bitcoin

Demand for courses in blockchain is growing and business schools are updating their curriculum to meet the demand. Robert Wardrop, Director of…

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Atlanta Business Chronicle: The world of payments is changing

Robert Wardrop, Director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, discusses the payments industry, challenges it faces today and how local developments…

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Crowdfund Insider: European alternative finance market expanded by 41 per cent in 2016

A report by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance found that the European online alternative finance market grew by 41 per cent…

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Inc42: The growth of cryptocurrency: India versus global trends

There are at least three million people actively using cryptocurrency today, according to a report by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance…

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Computer Weekly: Cryptocurrencies: a niche pursuit?

A recent global study by Cambridge Centre of Alternative Finance (CCAF) says the cryptocurrency market saw three-fold growth in 2016, reaching an…

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BBC News: Future of cash: Can a ‘bank in a box’ replace a branch?

Robert Wardrop of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), based at Cambridge Judge Business School, discusses the future of cash machines.…

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Crowdfund Insider: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance publishes first global cryptocurrency study

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School publishes the first comprehensive survey of cryptocurrencies, which says that “the…

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Cambridge Business Magazine: African, Middle East alternative finance markets taking time to develop

Alternative finance market in Africa and the Middle East totalled more than $475m between 2013-2015, according to a report by the Cambridge…

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Financial Times: Professional investors join the crowdfunding party

An FT article on investment and crowdfunding features two people with Cambridge Judge connections – Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, Cambridge Judge MBA alumnus…

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Crowdfund Insider: 2017 Americas alternative finance industry study

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at Cambridge Judge Business School, has partnered with the Polsky Center and the Booth School…

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Cambridge Business Magazine: Which do we trust more ‘fin’ or the ‘tech’?

Banks need to address trust issues as they face new digital challenges, says Robert Wardrop, Executive Director of the Cambridge Centre for…

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Crowdfund Insider: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance to study blockchain

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) based at Cambridge Judge Business School has announced a new study “Global Blockchain Benchmarking Study”…

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FT Adviser: FCA to research crowdfunding with Cambridge academics

The UK financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, has teamed up with academics from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at…

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Financial Times: FCA asks University of Cambridge to help it understand P2P

The UK financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, has teamed up with academics from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge…

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Crowdfund Insider: A case of regulatory evolution

Robert Wardrop, Executive Director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, and Tania Ziegler, Research Project Manager at the Centre, co-author an…

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Financial Times: Bitcoin hype leads more to ask: what is blockchain?

More and more professionals want to learn about blockchain, the technology that powers the virtual currency bitcoin, writes Jane Wild in the…

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Wired: Fintech firms are taking on the one percent, but can they fix finance?

Investment is finally in the hands of the 99 per cent and with the help of apps and online management almost anyone…

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Cambridge Business Magazine: China’s alternative finance market now tops $100bn

The Asia-Pacific alternative finance market grew 323 per cent to $102.8 billion in 2015, led by four-fold growth to more than $100…

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City AM: P2P lending: Does the industry need more than just transparency?

Robert Wardrop, executive director at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, comments on the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending…

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Business Weekly: Cambridge intel reveals alternative finance surge in the Americas

The online alternative finance market more than tripled across the Americas in 2015, generating an estimated total market volume of $36.49 billion,…

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Cambridge Business Magazine: Online alternative finance market in the UK up 84 per cent last year

In 2015 the UK online alternative finance sector grew 84 per cent, facilitating £3.2 billion in investments, loans and donations, according to…

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City AM: Peer-to-peer lending: What will happen in a downturn?

Harriet Green looks at peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market in the UK and what P2P companies should be looking for in case there’s…

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Crowdfund Insider: Asia Pacific research: Dramatic growth in alternative finance is fuelled by huge China market

The Asia-Pacific alternative finance market grew 323 per cent to $102.8 billion in 2015, led by four-fold growth to more than $100…

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Business Insider Australia: Invoice trading is the new darling of Australia’s fintech loan market

Australia’s alternative finance market — including peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding — grew 320 per cent to $US348 million last year to be…

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The Independent: Small talk: Alternative finance has an exciting future

Further coverage of the alternative finance report co-authored at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and UK innovation foundation Nesta. The report…

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Bloomberg Business: CME Group Foundation grants USD 1m to University of Cambridge

CME Group Foundation grants $1 million to support the study of alternative finance by Cambridge Judge Business School. The University’s Cambridge Centre…

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City AM: Alternative finance in 2016: Why the latest industry report tells us it’s now too big to ignore

In 2015 the UK online alternative finance sector grew 84 per cent, facilitating £3.2 billion in investments, loans and donations, according to…

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Financial Times: Banks behind a quarter of loans on peer-to-peer websites

In 2015 the UK online alternative finance sector grew 84 per cent, facilitating £3.2 billion in investments, loans and donations, according to…

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BBC: Business and Economics

Robert Wardrop, executive director of the Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, discusses the new report on alternative finance…

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FinExtra: CME donates $1 million to Cambridge University for research into alternative finance

CME Group Foundation today announced it will provide a $1 million grant for the benefit of research at the Cambridge Centre for…

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Bloomberg: CME Group Foundation grants $1 million to support the study of alternative finance by the University of Cambridge Judge Business School

The grant, from the foundation of the parent company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, will fund research into the rapid growth of…

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Computer Weekly: One-fifth of consumers will trust tech firms for all financial products by 2025

Research suggests in ten years 20% of consumers will trust fintech companies to supply all types of financial products and services. According…

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Business Weekly: Bank of England engages with Cambridge ‘brains’

Bank of England COO Charlotte Hogg and CIO John Finch came to Cambridge to discuss how to build effective markets. The duo…

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Helsingin Sanomat: Alternative finance

The daily Finnish newspaper talks to Robert Wardrop, Executive Director at Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School. Alternative…

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Crowdfund Insider: The University of Cambridge and University of Chicago join forces to launch the 2015 Americas alternative finance benchmarking survey

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge has joined forces with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Chicago…

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City AM: Alternative finance in Asia

Alternative finance market is growing in Western countries, but what about the East. Harriet Green talks with Robert Wardrop, Executive Director at…

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Financial Times: Sports look for new tactics to raise cash from fans

Sports clubs are turning to fans for new finance developments, writes Malcolm Moore in the FT. For sport clubs it can be…

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Real Business: While smaller than the industry in the UK, alternative finance in Europe cannot be ignored

The new report by Cambridge Judge Business School and EY found that the European online alternative finance market grew by 144% last…

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Crowdfund Insider: Investor & Cambridge research fellow Robert Wardrop elucidates alternative finance’s complexities and societal differences’ effect on markets

In the interview, Robert Wardrop, Executive Director of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, talks about his career,…

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The Economist: Home is where the capital is

Germans are wary savers and investors, shunning houses, stocks and corporate bonds in favour of low-yielding savings accounts and stingy private pension…

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Contact details

Robert Wardrop
Cambridge Judge Business School
University of Cambridge
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1AG
UK

Tel: +44 (0)1223 765365

[email protected]