Finance in Society Research Institute
A financial sector that serves everyone.
Transforming sector-wide practice and policy through advancing the current body of knowledge on finance and society.
The Finance in Society Research Institute (FISRI) specialises in collaborative research on topics related to the role of finance in contemporary societies to enhance sector-wide practice and policy, and to further advance the current body of knowledge on finance and society. The Institute adopts a pluralistic and inclusive approach to understand the social role of finance by building on mainstream and heterodox schools of thoughts.
The Finance in Society Research Institute (FISRI) is an independent Research Institute at the Gloucestershire Business School, established in collaboration with the UK’s largest wealth manager St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (SJP).
The Institute aims to become an international hub for cutting-edge research that informs national and international policy makers and financial institutions.
The Institute will develop high-quality research programmes in partnership with industry representatives and community stakeholders to respond to the demands of the society, the financial services industry, and policymakers.
The FISRI will develop opportunities for knowledge exchange and enhanced ways of working with a focus on a range of areas by attracting and collaborating with national and international professionals, researchers, and students.
ST JAMES’s PLACE
St. James’s Place (SJP) is a leading UK wealth management organisation. Founded in 1991, SJP was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1997 and is a FTSE 100 company with over £148 billion funds under management. The company provides face-to-face advice to clients based on their individual needs and circumstances, adapting the advice as requirements change over time to ensure that recommendations remain appropriate.
SJP’s ambition is to be a leading responsible business in the UK. This means considering responsible and sustainable decision-making in everything they do. How they help society move forward with confidence and play an important role in supporting their clients’ financial wellbeing through the face-to-face advice provided by the SJP Partnership. In doing so, they have an opportunity to help address the social, environmental and economic challenges faced by all in society.
The Finance in Society Research Institute is delighted that SJP has been key supporters from inception, whilst also encouraging and nurturing the development of an MSc in Finance and MBA in Financial Planning with University of Gloucestershire.
Money Advice Liaison Group
FISRI undertakes rigorous academic research on the interactions between three research themes and their impacts on society. The three research themes are personal, climate and development finance.
Access to financial services, such as banking, insurance, and pension schemes, as well as investing in financial markets could be useful for people’s financial planning and wealth accumulation capabilities. It could also have an adverse impact on people’s wellbeing if they are burdened with high costs, over-indebtedness, or overly risky investments. Financial products may not be available, accessible, or suitable because of several reasons causing unwanted outcomes for the industry and society. A fit for purpose financial service meets the emerging needs of society by drawing on the expertise of practitioners, policy makers and the public. FISRI will contribute towards the creation of such expertise through its knowledge co-creation activities on:
• Financial exclusion and access to financial services.
• Internal skills gaps in the financial services industry.
• Financial capability and financial decision making.
• Intergenerational wealth transfers.
The financial sector has a fundamental role in facilitating economic growth and development. The allocation of capital by the financial system directly affects the rate of economic growth, ownership of production resources, and the demand for labour, all of which have direct implications on income distribution and poverty. While the financial sector should respond to the needs and interests of societies, especially in low- and middle-income population, the sector has been criticised for functioning for the sole interest of narrow social groups. Various financial crises intensify critical questions on the role and value of the financial services.
This research theme addresses the role of financial services in:
• Finance and regional development.
• Entrepreneurial finance and wealth implications.
• Financial sector of low- and middle-income economies.
Sustainable finance recognises the environmental, social and governance impacts of investments. The increasing need and demand for sustainable finance, arises from and has profound implications for all (investors, financial advisors, regulators, researchers, and communities). The need for reimagined understandings and actions cannot be understated including the critical role of financial services. The sustainable finance research work responds to important debates and creation of know-how around:
• Financial services for just, fair, and sustainable societies.
• Public and private finance for green and climate-resilient economies.
View all of FISRI’s published research.
We are building a student-led ‘finance society’ to promote financial services career opportunities for students at the Gloucestershire Business School and the wider community.
The activities of the Institute will encourage current postgraduate research students to undertake high-quality research projects that is based on rigours scientific methods and informed by the state of the art in research and practice. The results of this will attract world class learners from across the global to undertake masters and doctorate research at University of Gloucestershire, developing a pool of talent for both the Institution and the sector.
In the long-term, the transdisciplinary knowledge creation activities and outputs of the institute will broaden and enrich the research impact of colleagues in the university as well as the range of postgraduate awards.
FISRI (2023). The Value of Financial Advisory Services. Finance in Society Research Institute. Professional Report No.1.
Khafagy, A. (2023). The concrete function of the banking system: Samir Amin’s monetary theory of financial underdevelopment. Finance in Society Research Institute. Working Paper No.1.
Webber, D. J., & Page, D. (2022). The Economics of Individual Wellbeing and the Transformation of Society. In Broadening the Scope of Wellbeing Science: Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Human Flourishing and Wellbeing (pp. 121-135). Cham: Springer International Publishing
Research lab activities
The Research lab will strengthen the research skills of the students and enable them to produce high-quality and evidence-based research. Planned activities in this space will help in the development and embedding of a research culture amongst staff and students affiliated with the institute.
FISRI will organise research seminars to both teach and celebrate research skills. Taught elements will be hands-on. It will help attendees identify knowledge gaps, frame research questions, conduct literature reviews, and use various software in data analysis (Python, R, Stata, and NViVo). In addition to the awarded degree, the research team will support the publication of the students’ dissertations as a FISRI working paper and preparing a manuscript for peer-reviewed publication in a leading academic journal. Those affiliated with FISRI will also be offered support on the wider dissemination of their work including at academic conferences, through podcasts and in the media.
For visiting professors, staff, and students.
• Annual research conference.
• Early career researchers’ forum and conference.
Annual award to best paper.
Students, finance professionals and academics frequently reflect on events, concepts, processes and trends that have financial implications for individuals and groups in society.
Get in touch if you would like to contribute to our blog.