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Professor Janette Rutterford

I am Professor of Financial Management and Research Professor of True Potential PUFin. I am responsible for the Centre's cross-disciplinary research programme which aims to expand our understanding of personal finance capability through innovative, high-quality research.

My previous research has centred on corporate finance, investment management, women and investment and the history of finance. My current research areas include:

  • Corporate governance
  • Behavioural finance
  • Understanding financial risk
  • Democratisation of investment
  • Pension funds and saving
  • Personal finance education

I have been a Board Member of the Strategic Investment Board of the Lord Chancellor’s Office, and a non-executive director and pension fund trustee of Scott Bader Limited, and currently act as an expert in legal cases involving potential mis-selling of investments or savings products.

To access my research publications, you can view these online.

Centre Director:

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Martin Upton

I am the Director of the True Potential Centre for the Public understanding of Finance (PUFin). Previously I was Head of the Department of Accounting and Finance here at the Open University Business School.

My interest in personal financial services and financial literacy has arisen from two angles:

  • I spent twenty years in financial services – including twelve as Treasurer of the Nationwide Building Society – and so gained plenty of experience in designing and selling financial products to the public. As a non-executive director of the Shepshed Building Society I was also involved in ensuring the appropriate application of regulations to the sale of products.
  • After joining the Open University Business School in 2004, I was part of the team that compiled the personal finance modules ‘You and Your Money: Personal Finance in Context (DB123)’ – a module that deals with all aspect of personal finance and which supports the development of financial literacy. Subsequently I wrote the module ‘Introduction to Financial Services’ (BD131) which explores how financial firms in the UK operate and how their activities - including the sale of financial products – are regulated.

My particular interests are financial risk management and financial services regulation.

My main role as Director of PUFin has been to produce and present the suite of three free online courses aimed at supporting and developing the public’s financial literacy and knowledge of personal finance products. These courses - Managing My Money, Managing My Investments and Managing My Financial Journey - are offered on both the FutureLearn and OpenLearn platforms.

To access my research publications, you can view these online.

Centre members:

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Dr Shaheen Akter

I am a Research Associate at the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance at The Open University Business School, investigating the impact of financial education towards financial capability and well-being funded by the Money Advice Service.

Prior to this, I contributed to the FP7 project on Multinational Enterprises and Global Development of the Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD) in the Oxford University's Department of International Development. My previous research interests in the multidisciplinary platform include impact analysis, technology adoption, poverty & vulnerability, inequality, agricultural policy, agricultural markets, competiveness/efficiency, innovation and the interface between social protection and rural productive sectors. I have published extensively published in these areas.

I worked as an independent research consultant with universities (Plymouth, Oxford), think tanks (ODI), NGOs (BRAC, Oxfam) and international organisations (ILRI, CIMMYT, UNDP). I was a professor of economics at the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Bangladesh where I worked in various capacities over a period of 14 years. I was also a Visiting Professor of North South University of Bangladesh. I also taught agri-business courses in the Papua New Guinea University of Technology.

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Will Brambley

I am a Research Associate at True Potential PUFin, investigating how people behave in retail financial markets and what can be done to improve the decisions they make.

My background is policy research (quantitative and qualitative), especially the application of behavioural economics to financial regulation. I joined PUFin in January 2015 from the Financial Conduct Authority where I had been a Senior Associate Economist for a number of years after completing their specialist economics graduate programme.

My research interests include:

  • The impact of information, defaults and other nudges on the financial choices people make.
  • Whether financial capability interventions, especially attempts to instil positive habits in children, can improve people’s long-term financial decisions and outcomes.
  • The role of culture, incentives, rules and other external factors in influencing how people (especially experts) behave; how this influences the way organisations act; and the implications this has for policy, regulation and corporate governance.

I am also an Executive Fellow of Henley Business School, and hold a BA in Economics & Management from Oxford and an MSc in Economics from Birkbeck.

To access my research publications, you can view these online.

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Professor Mark Fenton-O'Creevy

I am Professor of Organisational Psychology at the Open University Business School and Associate Dean (External Engagement).

My research (on the role of traders in investment banks and management practices in international firms) contributes to fields such as international business, behavioural finance, the sociology of markets, industrial relations and cognitive psychology.

I recently concluded a large-scale, EU funded ,cross-European research project (xDelia) which improved our understanding of the role played by emotion in the financial decision-making of consumers, investors and professional traders and which developed new approaches to learning to manage financial decisions more effectively.  Another recent project with the BBC (The Big Money Test) looked at the emotional and psychological relationships we all have with our money and financial affairs.

I have provided advice to firms, governments and the OECD on the psychology of investment and trading and also have acted as an advisor to multinational firms, government and NGOs on topics such as the cross-national harmonisation of HR practices and the management of change.

To access my research publications, you can view these online.

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Professor Jane Frecknall-Hughes

I am currently Professor of Accounting and Taxation at Nottingham University Business School.

Previous appointments have been as Professor of Accounting and Taxation and Head of Subject (Accounting and Finance) at Hull University Business School and Professor of Revenue Law at the Open University Business School, where I am now a Visiting Professor.

I am a chartered accountant and chartered tax consultant.

My research focuses on taxation in a number of different areas from an interdisciplinary perspective, such as legal history, ethics, strategic management, international business, ethics, the history and development of the tax and legal professions, and financial decision making and literacy.

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Jonquil Lowe

I am a Senior Lecturer in Personal Finance in The Open University's Economics Department.

I have spent much of my working life researching and writing about personal finance and promoting financial capability. This has involved:

  • An initial introduction to finance, working in the City of London as an economist and investment analyst, followed by several years as Head of Money Research at Consumers’ Association. Since then, I have worked on a freelance basis for a diverse range of clients such as the previous financial regulator (Financial Services Authority), Money Advice Service, education providers including the British Computer Society, charities like Macmillan Cancer Care and providers, such as Royal London Mutual. Along the way, I gained the Diploma in Financial Planning, have written over 25 books on personal finance and contributed to many more.
  • It was as a freelance personal finance expert that I first worked with the OU, joining the Economics Department a few years later in 2009. I’ve been part of the teams producing and running the OU’s personal finance modules: DB123 You and Your Money and DB234 Personal Investment in an Uncertain World, as well as contributing to the economics curriculum.

My particular research interests are pensions, the macroeconomic context for personal finance, and behavioural approaches to financial capability.

To access my research publications, you can view these online.

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Jerome Monne

I am a research associate at the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance. My current research is mainly focused on saving and investment behaviour.

I also develop research projects following on from my PhD’s papers that were dedicated to the identification of new barriers that stand between financially vulnerable individuals and financial institutions, using a behavioural approach.

All these projects lead me to address varying fields of research the common denominator of which is personal finance and the use of quantitative methods.

  • Behavioural view of poverty
  • Behavioural finance
  • Microfinance
  • Commitment savings devices
  • Retirement savings
  • Financial advices
  • Inequality
  • Non-take-up of social benefits

I did my PhD thesis (that is close to completion) at Audencia Business School and at the University of Nantes (France). I hold a master degree in applied economics from the University Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense (France).

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Olga Siemers

I joined the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance in 2017. As a research associate I am currently working on a research project examining the impact of financial education on behaviour of the research participants. Having adopted an experimental approach, this research aims to understand whether financial education can improve knowledge about personal finance and push behavioural change.

Prior to joining the Open University, I completed my PhD at the University of Warwick. Funded by the Chancellor’s International Scholarship, my PhD research explored the individual outcomes of international experience for the highly skilled professionals based in different European countries.

Before my doctoral studies at Warwick University, I spent a year as a DAAD funded visiting researcher in the Department of Social Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Since completing my Masters in political science at the Freie University Berlin, I have been involved in academic research and teaching at the Warwick Department of Sociology, public relations, and political journalism. I am leading a number of projects establishing networks between German and Russian enterprisers in the PR company Wegweiser GmbH in Berlin, Germany.

My research interests include: Global talent management, international academic mobility, career trajectories of the highly skilled, behavioural change, decision-making, mixed-methods approach, experimental approach in social science research.

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Dr Tara Zaksaite

I am a Research Associate at True Potential PUFin. I am working on a project investigating the effectiveness of an intervention aimed at encouraging people to save money, so that they can avoid debt in the case of financial emergency.

Prior to joining The Open University, I completed a PhD in Experimental Psychology at Plymouth University. This explored the way that people learn causal associations, particularly about when making decisions about uncertain or irrelevant information. I investigated an effect called the redundancy effect, which indicates that individuals think one type of a redundant cue (a blocked cue) is a stronger cause of the outcome than a different type of a redundant cue (an uncorrelated cue). This effect is puzzling because notable models of learning predict the opposite effect. My research indicated that the redundancy effect is due to uncertainty about the blocked cue and a lack of inhibition.

Broadly my research interests include attention, learning, reasoning, and decision-making.

Associated with True Potential PUFin

The Economics Department at The Open University has a strong history of teaching and research on personal finance issues. As well as Jonquil Lowe, other Economics colleagues associated with True Potential PUFin include:

We also have other other institutions associated with True Potential PUFin:

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