Investment management firm AQR and the London Business School (LBS) have launched the AQR Institute of Asset Management, a 10-year collaboration to fund and generate research across a range of disciplines.

The Institute will make annual grants and awards to postgraduate researchers and sponsor conferences and events at the LBS campuses in London and Dubai that will aim to bring together academics, policymakers and practitioners.  

Led by professors of finance Francisco Gomes, Ralph Koijen and Narayan Naik, and professor of economics Hélène Rey, the Institute’s research agenda is expected to range from the challenges faced by CIOs in portfolio construction to regulation, economic policy and accounting issues.

Tony Joyce, associate dean of marketing and communications at LBS, speaking to IPE at the launch event held in the London campus on Wednesday, said: “This goes straight in at the top of the league table of our relationships with commercial entities.”

In his welcoming remarks, the dean of LBS, Sir Andrew Likierman, added: “We have done nothing with the scope, depth or magnitude of this relationship, or anything as long-lasting. 

“AQR is distinguished for its emphasis on ideas and research that is not necessarily characteristic of its industry. There is an underlying alignment of philosophy with the London Business School.”

AQR, with $122bn (€104bn) in assets under management, makes much of its strong links with academia, and boasts more than 40 PhDs on its staff, including co-founders Cliff Asness and John Liew.

It endowed the AQR Capital Management Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, supports the Innovation Factory at Johns Hopkins University and makes the annual $100,000 AQR Insight Award for outstanding innovation in applied academic research.

The AQR Institute has its origins early last year in discussions between Scott Richardson, a professor of accounting at LBS since he left BlackRock in 2010, who currently works as a managing director at AQR in credit and equity research, and the firm’s founders.

Formal discussions with LBS, which is consistently ranked in the global Top 10 for teaching and research and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, got underway in March 2014.

AQR founding principal David Kabiller said: “The AQR Institute will bring together scholars and industry-leading practitioners to produce original research and identify best practices from a global perspective.

“We are proud to partner with London Business School, which is renowned for its academic rigour, top faculty and diverse student body.”

In his welcoming remarks at the launch event, he added: “We opened our London office three years ago, and we wanted to make a statement about our commitment to London, the UK and the broader EMEA region.”