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Personal profile

Research interests

Can we improve pensions savings outcomes for our society? Can a group of people be financially better off in retirement by pooling their savings together and sharing their risks, rather than individually investing their money? Can this be done in a transparent way, so that it is understood by the people in the group? My current interests are to propose and analyse ways in which a group of people can share their risks, with a focus on sharing their investment and mortality risks. Other interests of mine, which are closely related to this topic, are

  • Annuities.
  • Life insurance.
  • Pension funds.
  • Portfolio optimization.
  • Quantitative risk management.


After my undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge, I worked for several years in the pensions industry in the U.K. in both pensions and investment consultancy roles. I returned to university to do a Masters degree at the University of Oxford, followed by a PhD at the University Of Waterloo, Canada. After a couple of years as a postdoctoral researcher at RiskLab, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, I took up a lecturing position at Heriot-Watt in 2011.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


Dive into the research topics where Catherine Donnelly is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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