Griffith Business School has announced the appointment of Ms Ellana Brand as its new Research Fellow, jointly funded by financial services provider AMP.

Ms Brand is a senior analyst with the Reserve Bank of Australia, and brings to the role six years’ experience analysing the Australian economy and domestic and international markets.

She was the recipient of the RBA’s Outstanding Achievement Award in both 2016 and 2017, and is a member of the Economic Society of Australia and the Women in Economics Network.

Griffith Business School Pro Vice Chancellor Professor David Grant welcomed Ms Brand’s appointment, through which she will contribute to the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics’ program of research and scholarship in Financial Advice.

“AFE has a strong reputation for the quality of its teaching, research and external engagement in the field of Financial Advice, and we are delighted to have Ellana come aboard to share her ample knowledge and experience in this regard,” Professor Grant said.

“This fellowship provides a chance for Griffith and AMP to demonstrate thought leadership with the potential to effect real societal change, and to contribute to the overall body of knowledge that informs the activities and direction of the financial services industry.

“We sincerely look forward to working with her to undertake a range of impactful research in areas such as financial advice quality, financial literacy, professional standards, regulatory reform, and beyond.”

Ms Brand’s fellowship forms part of GBS’ recently renewed partnership with AMP, which also includes an agreement to explore additional areas of cooperation such as a joint bachelor’s degree, scholarship program and an undergraduate version of AMP’s award-winning Adviser Academy.

AMP Head of Advice Education, Capability & Careers Rod Edge says the collaboration with Griffith demonstrates their joint commitment to promoting high professional standards among current and future generations of financial advisers, with AMP also funding bursaries for existing AMP advisers and both undergraduate and postgraduate new entrants in the field.

“AMP believes that the demand for advice will only grow and that we must continue to develop a professional adviser force that can provide the quality financial advice Australians’ need,” Mr Edge said.

Professor Grant says the scholarships program, which was introduced in 2018, reflects Griffith Business School’s values of engaging in socially responsible leadership and economically inclusive practices for the benefit of the broader community.

“In the case of existing advisers, these scholarships provide the opportunity for us to support AMP in reshaping its network and succession planning activities, while new entrants will receive benefits to their professional development through the waiving of fees for the AMP Adviser Academy and, for undergraduates, the opportunity to complete an internship as part of the program,” he said.

The partnership between Griffith and AMP was formalised in 2014 after several years of development, and its renewal late last year is a testament to the organisations’ ongoing efforts to drive industry-leading, best-practice solutions to the challenges wrought by the evolving nature of the financial planning and financial advice sector.

In doing so, both parties have embraced the opportunity provided by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry to build a sustainable future for financial advice, Professor Grant says.

“Griffith and AMP seek to contribute positively to policy reforms and, importantly, to rebuild trust and confidence in the quality and integrity of Australian financial services professionals,” he said.

“Our continued partnership enables us to benefit from the best of both academia and industry in order to offer established and emerging financial advisers and planners market-leading education that embraces professionalism, prioritises ethics and responsibility, and exceeds regulatory and licensee requirements.”