Budgeting, it’s a cringe worthy word. Optimisation, that sounds more like it! But have you the faintest idea of what it is? And did you know that mathematicians use it to help financial planners increase the expected size of their client’s financial nest egg with risks that are acceptable to them and their stage in life?

APR.Intern, Wei Wu, is well versed in the mathematical technique of optimisation used in finance. In fact, he recently completed an internship at Optimo Financial – an Australian company that services the financial planning sector.

Hugh Bannister, Principal, Optimo Financial, has been building energy and financial models using optimisation techniques for over 25 years. He believes the work completed during Wu’s internship will allow Optimo to improve its offerings to the market.

“Optimo’s existing tools greatly improve financial planners ability to offer good, robust financial advice to clients, Wei Wu’s input and work strengthens these tools,” Bannister says.

Wu, a PhD candidate at The University of New South Wales, is sure that the internship will be beneficial to his future career. The most valuable experience, he says, was seeing the differences between theoretical modelling and real world circumstances.

“People have different investment needs, some invest for the short-term, saving for a house deposit, or long term, saving for their retirement. I was able to apply my mathematical skills to help financial planners find the best investment strategies for their clients by looking at, and taking into account, numerous factors,” Wu says.

“Optimo had developed a conceptual approach to solving this problem, but sought academic input through APR.Intern to ensure the state-of-the-art in the field was recognised,” Bannister says.

“The academic mentors and Wei Wu were able to make certain the proposed approach was theoretically and practically sound and were also able to explore possible improvements.”

Intern: Wei Wu, University of New South Wales
Industry Partner: Hugh Bannister, Principal, Optimo Financial
Academic Mentors: Prof. Ben Goldys, University of Sydney and Assoc. Prof. Spiridon Penev, University of New South Wales