Interview with dr Richard Saldanha and dr Drago Indjic from Oxquant

Interview with dr Richard Saldanha and dr Drago Indjic from Oxquant

Oxquant is involved in a lot of teaching. Our BSCC network might like to learn a little more about this.

Dr IndjicOxquant is now involved in teaching on the Oxford Executive Diploma in Artificial Intelligence for Business and Oxford MBA programmes at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford; and in supervising, and examining Masters projects in Operations Research & Analytics in the Mathematics Department of the London School Economics and Political Science (LSE). We have also been Guest Lecturers at the University of Bath for its MBA and Masters project supervisors for the Economics for Business Intelligence and Systems degree.

Dr Saldanha: Both Drago and I have formal academic positions as Visiting Lecturers at Queen Mary University of London. Drago is also an Industrial Professor at University College London and a Visiting Lecturer at the London Business School. We teach a combination of Machine Learning, Finance, Fintech, Legaltech and Econometrics at Masters level.

Dr Indjic: So far this year, Richard and I have supervised 16 successful MSc student projects at a number of the institutions mentioned previously. It is a brilliant way to seek out new and interesting problems and working with bright young people definitely keeps us on our toes.

Dr Saldanha: Our academic teaching, which is very applied, feeds directly into our ability to deliver excellent professional training content, which may well appeal to the BSCC network. For example, Drago delivered the Adria Summit Masterclass in June this year. This was a condensed version of a full Fintech MSc module aimed at busy professionals who need to expand their essential knowledge quickly.


That really does sound like a lot of teaching. Does that mean you've neglected your consulting and research activities?

Dr Saldanha: Not at all, this year we have been involved in systematic foreign exchange trading for a fledgling hedge fund, app development for a professional body and business development for a sports and medicine platform.

Dr Indjic: On the research front, Oxquant has pursued the sustainability domain – presenting to the European Union in Brussels, and leading conferences in Dublin and Berlin. I have engaged in a workshop on biodiversity at the University of Kragujevac and with Serbian environmental regulatory experts at the Faculty of Law in Belgrade.

The importance of forthcoming "green" compliance affecting Serbian exporters and businesses cannot be overstated: carbon and climate regulations will be rapidly followed by biodiversity, affecting sensitive supply chains in the food and agriculture industry. Oxquant would be happy to help the BSCC network develop capabilities to ensure forthcoming regulatory compliance; see our English and German legaltech review article in Serbian.


How do you find the time?

Dr Indjic: Energy and efficiency are key but we also have a superb network that extends from BSCC Member Technology Partnership to fintech Manigo, London-based financial services firm Oxford Portfolio Advisers and The Portfolio Collective (a high-quality professional network) as well as many other companies and friends. We pride ourselves on being consummate portfolio professionals and thrive on our interaction with others.


Richard, you are now involved in professional AI accreditation, the first such accreditation in the UK. Would you care to elaborate on that?

Dr Saldanha: The Institute of Science and Technology is a highly-respected UK professional body founded in 1948. I am a member of the AI accreditation executive committee, which launched AI accreditation for professionals working in artificial intelligence, machine learning and/or advanced modelling and data science just this month. Given acceptance of Membership of the IST, suitably qualified professionals can apply for recognition of their AI skills at three levels: RTechAI (Registered AI Technician) aimed at early career professionals with just a few years practical experience; RPAI (Registered AI Practitioner) for people who have maintained their technical AI skills for a number of years, often taking on a more senior or managerial role; and APAI (Advanced AI Practitioner) for professionals who can demonstrate advanced skills in AI over many years. APAIs are often directors of research groups or CTOs but one doesn't necessarily need to have led a group to achieve this highest accreditation.

Whilst genuine knowledge and understanding of AI is of course paramount, the IST accreditation is unique in demanding all applicants demonstrate some form of ethical responsibility in terms of their work with AI. People who are interested in professional AI accreditation, as well as firms looking to endorse the AI skills of their staff, can find details on the IST website.


Our BSCC network might like to know that you attended an interview with Prime Minister Ana Brnabić in London in June this year.

Dr Indjic: Yes, we were flattered to have been invited to a rather select gathering in Whitehall by the BSCC at the start of London Tech Week in June – thank you.

Dr Saldanha: I enjoyed an excellent conversation with Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, who is one of the most tech-savvy senior ministers in the world. She invited me to speak at a suitable government-sponsored conference in Serbia when the opportunity presents itself.