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Cantab donation adds up to new research center

Cantab Capital Partners’ Ewan Kirk

Hedge fund manager Cantab Capital Partners LLP has donated 5 million ($7.7 million) to launch the Cantab Capital Institute for the Mathematics of Information at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England.

The institute will use fundamental techniques from mathematical sciences to help decipher huge amounts of data and extract information, ultimately to help ensure all available information is used in the medical professions to make clinical diagnoses, in finance to sensibly evaluate risk, or by planners in building cities.

“This is a philanthropic donation, and we are not looking to get commercial benefits as a result of the donation,” said Ewan Kirk, Cambridge-based chief investment officer at Cantab Capital Partners, in a telephone interview. “We are a systematic firm and we focus on data, science and, in particular, information. That is something that we use for our investors.”

He added that Cantab will not be outsourcing its research, although the firm hopes to have “a rewarding dialogue with the institute. We are very much looking forward to going to lectures and seeing the papers that the institute produces.”

On choosing to donate to Cambridge, Mr. Kirk said Cantab was looking to “support something that is blue-sky thinking and in an area where it is harder to get philanthropic funding. It is much easier to get funding for medical science or computer science, but this is not the case for more theoretical subjects like mathematics. We want to encourage valuable cutting-edge research.”

This article originally appeared in the November 16, 2015 print issue as, "Cantab donation adds up to new research center".