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UW prof selected as recipient of prestigious international award

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December 6, 2005

Source: University of Waterloo:

UW prof selected as recipient of prestigious international award

WATERLOO, Ont., Dec. 6 - The founding director of the University of Waterloo's Institute for Quantitative Finance and Insurance (IQFI), Prof. Phelim Boyle, has been named the 2005 IAFE/SunGard Financial Engineer of the Year (FEOY).

The award was announced Monday by SunGard and the International Association of Financial Engineers (IAFE). The award will be presented to Boyle next Feb. 2 at the United Nations in New York City, during the 2005 IAFE/SunGard FEOY Award Gala Dinner.

Boyle, currently scientific director of the IQFI, was selected for his contributions to the field of financial engineering. He is a faculty member in the School of Accountancy based in UW's Faculty of Arts. As well, he holds the J. Page R. Wadsworth Chair in Finance and is the director of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Finance at UW.

While Boyle is best known for his paper on Monte Carlo methods, he has also made other important contributions to quantitative finance during the last three decades. He has pioneered the use of financial engineering techniques in actuarial science to the pricing and risk management of complex long-term options in insurance contracts.

"The University of Waterloo is singularly proud of Professor Boyle and his pioneering work on derivatives and insurance," said UW president David Johnston. "He has been a star researcher in Institute for Quantitative Finance and Insurance and the School of Accounting whose work is known throughout the world as this international recognition deservedly testifies."

Commenting on his receipt of the 2005 FEOY award, Boyle said: "Each of the previous winners has made significant contributions to the field of financial engineering and so it is a great privilege to join this group. This award recognizes the importance of quantitative finance in today's economy and I would like to thank SunGard and the IAFE for making it possible.

"I have been lucky to work with great co-authors and smart students. Both the University of Waterloo and the University of British Columbia encourage excellence. I acknowledge support from SSHRC and NSERC, two Canadian government funding agencies, in backing ideas that might have had trouble getting support from the private sector."

Richard Lindsey, chairman of the IAFE, said: "Dr. Boyle has produced a remarkable number of contributions to the field of financial engineering, over a long career. By focusing on bridging theory and the real world, his work has brought clarity to the difficult process of actually implementing theoretical models in option pricing. His seminal papers applying Monte Carlo techniques and high-dimensional lattice methods to practical problems provide foundation for much of the work financial engineers perform. It is fitting that the IAFE and SunGard recognize his contributions and insight to our field by naming him the Financial Engineer of the Year."

David Rowe, executive vice president risk management at SunGard, said: "SunGard is delighted to continue to sponsor this award and proud to acknowledge this year's winner. A widely recognized trend in recent years has been the increasing overlap between innovative derivative products and traditional insurance markets. In light of this development, effective understanding across these often distinct areas of analysis is growing in importance. Having made distinguished contributions both to actuarial science and to the theory of derivatives, Dr. Boyle is a leading voice in this emerging dialog. In this context, it is most appropriate that he is being honored as the 2005 Financial Engineer of the Year."

The annual IAFE/SunGard FEOY Award, established in 1993, recognizes individual contributions to the advancement of financial engineering technology. Nominations are submitted by a nominating committee of approximately 100 people, consisting of all the IAFE governing boards. They are then reviewed by a selection committee of 25 members, including the IAFE board of directors and senior fellows. This year's selection committee was chaired by Prof. Darrell Duffie, an IAFE senior fellow and 2003 FEOY award recipient, and a faculty member at Stanford University.

About the Institute for Quantitative Finance and Insurance (IQFI)

The IQFI was established in 2004 to create an innovative centre for research and advanced training in quantitative finance and risk management at the University of Waterloo. The goal of the IQFI is to be a world-class centre in risk management, bringing together a strong interdisciplinary research team of specialists in actuarial science, computer science, econometrics, finance and statistics. The institute's position as a premier unit for quantitative research in finance, insurance and risk management serves to attract first-class researchers to UW and to enhance Canadian expertise in this important area. Researchers associated with the institute are pursuing both basic and applied research - work that is rooted in the diverse pool of disciplines located at Waterloo. For more information about the institute, visit

About the International Association of Financial Engineers (IAFE)

The IAFE is the not-for-profit, professional society dedicated to fostering the profession of quantitative finance by providing platforms to discuss cutting-edge and pivotal issues in the field. Founded in 1992, the IAFE is composed of individual academics and practitioners from banks, broker dealers, hedge funds, pension funds, asset managers, technology firms, regulators, accounting, consulting and law firms, and universities across the globe.

Through frank discussions of current policy issues, sponsoring programs to educate the financial community and recognizing the outstanding achievements in the field, the IAFE acts as a beacon for the development of quantitative finance. Throughout its history, the IAFE's pre-eminent leadership has positioned it to respond with savvy to the evolving needs of the financial engineering community. The IAFE's programs - from area-specific committees to monthly panel discussions to the Financial Engineer of the Year Award - are designed to provide its members with uniquely valuable activities to enhance their work in the field and opportunities to network and socialize with their colleagues.

About SunGard

With annual revenue of $4 billion, SunGard is a global leader in software and processing solutions for financial services, higher education and the public sector. SunGard also helps information-dependent enterprises of all types to ensure the continuity of their business. SunGard serves more than 25,000 customers in more than 50 countries, including the world's 50 largest financial services companies. Visit SunGard at

Adriana Senior, SunGard,
(914) 953-5398; adriana.senior at
David Jaffe, IAFE,
(212) 317-7479; david.jaffe at
Martin Van Nierop, Communications & Public Affairs, UW
(519) 888-4881;
John Morris, UW Media Relations,
(519) 888-4435;
Release no. 272 - December 6, 2005



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