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CDO2 partners with University of Surrey to develop next generation Financial Grid

Financial analysis company CDO2 has recently partnered with the University of Surrey to work on a three-year research project aimed at improving CDO2’s service offering. London-based CDO2 develops pricing and risk technology for banks, hedge funds and investment firms involved in trading structured credit products, specifically collateralised debt obligations (CDOs).

The project provides access to both expertise and resources at the University of Surrey in Financial Grid computing, allowing CDO2 to innovate in the analysis it undertakes for its customers. CDO2 is already a pioneer in the use of Grid technology which gives it a competitive edge in markets in which US companies predominate.

This collaborative project, worth £160,000, will seek to strengthen CDO2's pricing and risk analysis technology by using university expertise in Grid computing. Dr Lee Gillam of the Department of Computing, leading the University’s input, has designed systems for analysis of financial data in previous UK and EU funded research projects. He has also specified, designed and built Grid computing systems.

CDO2 has been involved with the University of Surrey since it started offering industrial placements to students in the Departments of Computing and Mathematics early last year. Commenting on the latest partnership, Dr Gary Kendall, founder of CDO2, said, “We have been delighted to find the right balance of academic expertise and innovative spirit within the University of Surrey needed for this ambitious project. We are looking forward to welcoming Lee Gillam as a key member in our team to deliver a new class of financial analysis capability to our customers.”

The project, part funded by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) scheme, expects to appoint a recent graduate who will manage the project and act as a link between the company and the University. This graduate will also be given opportunities for professional development through the KTP scheme. More details on this position can be found at

The project will involve experiments that will make use of high-density blade servers featuring Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processors. These servers are soon to be commissioned in the University’s Department of Computing along with terascale storage capability. According to Head of Department Professor Steve Schneider, "The computational and collaborative capabilities afforded by the Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF) expenditure will assist in advancements in a range of scientific activities, and this KTP will be amongst the first to benefit".

The system is being provided by IBM, through Premier Business Partner OCF, courtesy of Science Research Investment Funds (SRIF). Nigel Woodward, Financial Services Director at Intel, commented, “Risk management, new modelling and analytics are a focus for our HPC activities at Intel. Working with CDO2 and research bodies we look to optimise the underlying compute infrastructure using our multi core processors and acceleration technologies such as grid, virtualisation and compilers raising the bar on the computational task which can be undertaken”

Tristan O’Dwyer, Research & Business Services Manager at the University of Surrey, says “The KTP scheme has been running for over 30 years now and continues to provide benefits for all involved. With the help of university expertise companies can meet challenges and take advantage of opportunities that help them grow, whilst Universities get to apply their research to ‘real world’ scenarios and develop further research opportunities. The scheme also offers fast track career development to talented graduates.”

Stuart Miller | alfa
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