skip to content

Centre for Financial Research (CFR)

Table of Contents


The Centre for Financial Research (CFR) is a research institute at the University of Cologne that promotes top independent research to solve relevant problems in the financial industry. It was founded in 2004 on the initiative of Professors Dr. Alexander Kempf and Dr. Drs. h. c. Axel A. Weber.

The CFR is financially supported by the Fördergesellschaft Finanzmarktforschung e.V., sponsored by well-known institutions in the financial industry. Since its foundation it has been managed by Prof. Dr. Alexander Kempf and supported by an advisory board made up of high-level personalities from academia and industry.


The CFR is designed to promote cutting-edge research in the field of asset management. It serves as a platform to connect researchers from the University of Cologne with domesticl and international professors. The CFR research team consists of professors from various universities in Germany, Switzerland and the USA. The CFR is intended to foster collaborations among its researchers. This is particularly useful for young academics at the University of Cologne – and especially for the holders of the "CFR-Junior-Professorship for Investments ", which has been funded by the Fördergesellschaft Finanzmarktforschung e.V. for more than a decade.

The CFR also offers opportunities for exchange among researchers and practitioners. For this purpose, the CFR organizes various events where scholars and financial industry practitioners meet to present and discuss research projects carried out at the CFR. This provides researchers feedback from the industry at an early stage of their project, and practitioners have early access to new scientific insights.


The research output of the CFR is reflected in its working paper series, which currently comprises more than 200 papers, many of which have since been published in leading international journals (e.g. American Economic Review, Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics). The research addresses issues of high practical and social relevance, e.g. topics in sustainable investments, which the CFR has been dealing with for a long time. The research output has made the CFR and thus the University of Cologne a highly visible centre of competence for asset management research.

To disseminate new scientific insights, the CFR organizes various conferences throughout the year. The annual Cologne Colloquium on Financial Markets brings together top researchers from all over the world to discuss current projects in asset management and initiate new research collaborations. The annual CFR Research Workshop and the BVI-CFR event, which is jointly organized with the Federal Association for Investment and Asset Management (BVI), are designed to exchange ideas with  finance practitioners and to strengthen the ties between the industry and the CFR.

The industry network of the CFR provides various benefits to students of the University of Cologne. Guest lectures provide students deep insights into the asset management industry. Frequently, this leads to subsequent opportunities for student internships and for writing theses in collaboration with companies from the financial industry.