CFIR - Spreadsheet Technology in finance

Spreadsheet Technology in finance

Spreadsheet Technology in finance
finance technology.JPG
The Innovation Network for Finance IT and Copenhagen Fintech Innovation and Research (CFIR) invite you to a session on spreadsheet technology in finance with one the leading experts in spreadsheet technology Professor Peter Sestoft from the IT University of Copenhagen, author of Spreadsheet Implementation Technology (MIT Press, 2014). Peter Sestoft and his group have developed an implementation of sheet-defined functions, a mechanism that allows spreadsheet users to define their own functions, using only spreadsheet concepts such as cells, formulas and references, and no external programming languagesSpreadsheet technology is used by the financial technology companies SimCorp and Edlund and internationally by Standard Chartered Bank.


At the event you can hear the case on how Edlund A/S incorporate Excel into the main work flows of Actulus Portfolio Calculator and discuss how you can utilize spreadsheet technology in your company.

Although ubiquitous, spreadsheets are often frowned upon and considered poor and temporary substitutes for 'real IT systems', but maybe we should revise this idea and instead consider them fertile grounds for invention by domain experts (in finance), and try to support sound practices such as systematic testing. Also, new spreadsheet technology may take this idea much further.

The ultimate goal of Peter Sestoft and his group’s work is to allow spreadsheet users themselves to develop and evolve libraries of user-defined functions to support sophisticated spreadsheet models. Defining a function requires only well-known spreadsheet concepts such as cell, cell reference and function, and no external programming languages. Therefore experimentation and adaptation of user-defined functions remain under the control of the spreadsheet users and domain experts, who need not wait for an IT department to understand, describe, implement and test the desired changes.

In this session you can:
  • gain insights to the use of spreadsheets technology and possible extensions and how it can be applied to your company in financial services.
  • learn from other companies practice and specific challenges in the use of spreadsheets
  • discuss ideas and possibilities for spreadsheet technology in finance
  • identify collaboration possibilities with your company and researchers in the field of spreadsheet functions and parallelization of spreadsheet operations, "end-user supercomputing", in finance.

9.30.-10.00 Coffee and registration 

10.00-10.10: Welcome by Senior Consultant Anders Pall Skött, CFIR and Professor Peter Sestoft, IT University Copenhagen 

10.10-12.30: Spreadsheet technology. Presentation and discussion.
  • "Some advances in spreadsheet technology: sheet-defined functions and end-user supercomputing" Professor Peter Sestoft, IT University Copenhagen
  • "Using Excel with computational life- and pension software" Mikkel Bollinger Edlund A/S, Manager of the Actulus project
  • "Where Simcorp uses spreadsheets, and why, and where notElse BraathenRisk Domain Manager,  SimCorp
12.30-13.00: Sandwich and networking

Time: Friday December 11, 10:00-12:30 (registration from 9:30) 
Place: House of the Financial Sector, Amaliegade 7, København K 
Target group: Companies and researchers working with practical and strategic use of spreadsheets and interest in utilizing spreadsheet technology. 
Sign up for the event: Sign up for the event here​. Participation is reserved for members of CFIR. See member list here. If your company is not a member and you want to participate, please send a mail to senior consultant Anders Pall Skött,

About the sessions in computational finance: 
The field of computational finance has expanded into virtually every area of finance, and the demand for practitioners and new methods and solutions has grown dramatically. Many specialized companies have grown up to supply computational finance software and services. The sessions in computational finance gathers researchers and practitioners from banks, investment companies, pension funds, IT companies, startups and other companies working with computational finance. The purpose is to share and present new knowledge; and through CFIR and the Innovation Network for Finance and IT your company can engage in concrete projects with other companies and universities. Computational finance is one of five focus areas for CFIR, the other areas are fintech entrepreneurship; Platforms, payments and usability; Cybersecurity in finance and Digital processes. You can read more here.

Peter Sestoft, IT University of Copenhagen
Peter Sestoft is Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark and head of the Software Development Group. He has lead a number of applied research projects with companies including the Actulus project​ with the University of Copenhagen and Edlund A/S. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Java Precisely and C# Precisely, both published by the MIT Press. Peter Sestoft is the author of Spreadsheet Implementation Technology (MIT Press, 2014). This book fills the gap, teaching users how to experiment with and implement innovative spreadsheet functionality and introducing two software platforms for doing so. Along the way, it draws on and illustrates software technologies and computer science topics that range from object-oriented programming to compiler technology.

Spreadsheet Implementation Technology surveys a wide range of information about spreadsheets drawn from user experience, the scientific literature, and patents. After summarizing the spreadsheet computation model and the most important challenges for efficient recalculation, the book describes Corecalc, a core implementation of essential spreadsheet functionality suitable for practical experiments, and Funcalc, an extension of Corecalc that allows users to define their own functions without extraneous programming languages or loss of efficiency. It also shows the advantages of automatic function specialization and offers a user’s manual for Funcalc. The Corecalc and Funcalc software is downloadable free of charge.

Mikkel Bollinger, Edlund 
Mikkel Bollinger is manager with Edlund and has been leading the Actulus research project since its inception 5 years ago. Actulus is a collaboration between University of Copenhagen, ITU, and Edlund and is co-funded by Innovation Fund Denmark. Mikkel has a background in physics with a Ph.D. from DTU. Mikkel has more than 10 years' experience with development of financial and scientific software. 

Actulus is a collaboration between University of Copenhagen, ITU, and Edlund and is co-funded by Innovation Fund Denmark. Actulus Portfolio Calculator is the first spin-off from the Actulus research project and is Edlund's next generation platform for calculating market values and cash flows for life- and pension products. Early on in the development we primarily focused on automated work flows with full audit trail. For actuaries, however, spreadsheets are a ubiquitous tool and we soon came to realize the importance of spreadsheets, and Excel in particular, to do ad-hoc calculations and analyses. And so we decided to incorporate Excel into the main work flows of Actulus Portfolio Calculator.​

Else Braathen, SimCorp​
Else Braathen is Domain Manager Risk Management and Director, Product Management MO DK at Simcorp since 2006. She holds an MSc in Mathematical Economics from Aarhus University and previously worked 13 years in risk management at Danske Bank and ABN Amro (Stockholm, London, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam).


Reserver eftermiddagen den 24. august 2016, hvor professor Peter Sestoft, ITU og medlem af erhvervsforskerudvalget fortæller om ordningen. ErhvervsPhD-ordningen er attraktiv for både virksomhed og kandidat. Den 24. august 2016 bliver der mulighed for at høre mere om mulighederne på fintech området.​​​


This year's Finance IT Day will be held on September 15, 2016 at Industriens Hus, in Copenhagen. The Finance IT Day is CFIR's annual conference and this year the conference is co-organized with DI Digital. The Finance IT Day addresses decision makers in IT and business development.​


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