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Nobel Foundation Adopts MATLAB to Assess Portfolio Risk Exposure and Meet Long-Term Laureate Prize Goals

Organization will use models for 30-year risk scenarios and asset returns


Natick, Mass. - (13 Jan 2014)

MathWorks today announced that The Nobel Foundation has adopted MATLAB to support the asset-liability management strategies of its $500 million (3.3 billion kronor) portfolio and meet its long-term goal of providing monetary awards to future Laureates.

Through the use of MATLAB, The Nobel Foundation will build and implement a risk scenario and asset return simulation engine for its fund, likely targeting a 30-year outlook and potentially increasing to 100 years as the model architecture develops. The Nobel Foundation wants a clear perspective on its long-term cash flows and risk sensitivities, helping define solvency-oriented countermeasure actions in the case of unexpected tail events like the banking collapses of 2008.

“The Nobel Foundation wants to know how its assets will perform over time, so we can pay out to support the awards while giving visibility around costs,” said Gustav Karner, chief investment officer at The Nobel Foundation. “Our costs are relatively fixed, but we were unsure how our asset portfolio – equities, property, hedge fund investments, and fixed income – will evolve over time. We will use MATLAB to help us understand the risks our portfolio faces and build a flexible simulation engine for medium and long-term asset performance projections.”  

The Nobel Foundation’s models built using MATLAB will use Monte Carlo simulation methods to analyze, model and project estimated asset returns, key correlations, and standard deviations, with particular focus on the 2.5% worst- and best-case performance scenarios. The foundation’s fund targets 3.5% returns plus inflation for the aggregated portfolio in the medium term, but benchmarking and assessing returns performance vary by asset class and time horizon.

“We are excited that The Nobel Foundation has chosen MATLAB to help with its long-term financial planning goals,” said Steve Wilcockson, financial services industry manager, MathWorks. “Our mission at MathWorks is to accelerate the pace of engineering and science. The Nobel Foundation directly supports that mission with The Nobel Prize being the ultimate recognition for innovators in these fields. We are honored to be associated with this world renowned organization.”

About MathWorks

MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design for multidomain dynamic and embedded systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these product families to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, electronics, financial services, biotech-pharmaceutical, and other industries. MATLAB and Simulink are also fundamental teaching and research tools in the world's universities and learning institutions. Founded in 1984, MathWorks employs more than 3000 people in 15 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit mathworks.com.

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