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Research Institute

Advancing behavioural science knowledge to support leaders in business, government, and society in making evidence-based decisions.

Mission

The mission of the BEworks Research Institute is to bring leaders together to tackle the world’s most pressing behavioral challenges. The Institute conducts seminal research to establish and maintain a position of thought leadership on decision-making. By co-creating with interested parties, we will apply our research to collaboratively solve the most pressing challenges in industry, society, and the economy.

About the BEworks Research Institute

The BEworks Research Institute launched in 2021 with the purpose of advancing applied behavioural economics research to support leaders in business, government, and society in solving the most pressing issues of our time.

The Research Institute identifies the challenges facing society and the economy at-large through consultations with industry leaders and member partners. We then launch primary research studies to answer critical questions and uncover novel insights related to the challenges at hand.

We believe that the path to a better future is established by equipping business leaders, government, and society with evidence-based insights to inform important business and policy decisions. Our research will provide perspectives that will benefit multiple stakeholders, including firms, policy makers, regulators, consumer groups and other interested parties, while allowing more intensive and rigorous research than any one participant might be willing or able to undertake; particularly given the fact that insights will likely benefit from the perspectives of multiple participants. By convening round-table discussions with key leaders in industry, government, and society, we ensure that the research agenda is timely and relevant and that the research considers varied perspectives and interests. Furthermore, as a research institute focused on primary research conducted by PhDs with extensive expertise in various domains of behavioural science, economics, and finance, we can conduct rigorous unbiased research and deliver reports that will have credibility thereby allowing a reconciliation of potentially competing perspectives and interests.

Focus for the Research Institute

While there are a host of interesting research questions, the initial focus of the BEworks Research Institute will be on financial decision-making with potential topics including:

Financial Advice
Financial Advice
What is the value of professional financial advice and why do more people not seek and follow advice?
KYC and Investment Suitability
KYC and Investment Suitability
What is the best way to determine isuitability when retail investors have difficulty understanding trade-offs and choices?
ESG and Socially Responsible Investing
ESG and Socially Responsible Investing
How can investment managers best respond to their customers’ demands for socially responsible investing?
Gender Differences in Financial Decision-making
Gender Differences in Financial Decision-making
How do men and women differ in their investment decision-making and how can we empower women as financial decision-makers?
Loyalty in a Digital Era
Loyalty in a Digital Era
How do firms build and maintain customer loyalty in a digital era where customer service and interaction are often delivered on-line?
Trust and Financial Decision-making
Trust and Financial Decision-making
What is the nature of trust in financial institutions and how can financial institutions build or restore trust?
Financial Literacy
Financial Literacy
Can we help people make better financial decisions by first increasing financial literacy?
Volatility as the New Normal
Volatility as the New Normal
How can we overcome the volatility-triggered biases that prevent people from making more optimal financial decisions?
Countering Cybercrime
Countering Cybercrime
How can we help consumers be the first line of defense against cybercrime?
Co-Creation
Co-Creation
When customers DIY their own plans, what happens to the perceived value of products and services?
Financial Planning
Financial Planning
How can we overcome the ostrich effect and overconfidence bias so that more people deliberately plan their financial future?

Join the BEworks Research Institute

We are currently seeking founding sponsors and leadership members to participate in our first financial services roundtable. One of the first tasks for sponsors and members will be in setting research priorities. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at [email protected]

To stay up-to-date on the activities, research, and events planned by the BEworks Research Institute

Leadership

Dr. David R. Lewis, MBA, CFA, PhD

President

David holds a PhD in marketing, specializing in consumer behaviour, from the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. David also holds an MBA in strategy and finance from the Schulich School of Business at York University. In addition to academic credentials, David is also a Chartered Financial Analyst. Prior to joining BEworks, David was an Assistant Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management at Ryerson University. David has held numerous senior positions in the financial services industry, including Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Information Technology Officer at ING DIRECT USA, Head of Banking at Barclays Wealth USA, Head of Banking Products at UBS Financial Services USA, and Board Chair at UBS Bank USA. David also serves as a Board Member on a number of Boards for financial services companies in Canada and is Board Chair at Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation. Ad Age magazine named David as one of the top 50 marketers in the US.

Dr. Michelle Hilscher, PhD

Vice President

Michelle obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Toronto. For over 5 years, Michelle has provided Behavioral Economics expertise and advisory support to a range of organizations, including the OSC, IFIC, BCSC, Sunlife, and TD Bank. At BEworks, Michelle leads various complex projects with major financial institutions and regulatory bodies related to financial decision-making, compliance, transparency, regulation, and risk.

Institute Advisors

Kelly Peters, MBA

CEO and Co-Founder

Dan Ariely, PhD

Co-Founder and Chief Behavioral Scientist

Nina Mazar, PhD

Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor