Students Staff

22 April 2015

Dr Nick Constantinou 1960-2015

Dr Nick Constantinou

Dr Nick Constantinou

It is with great sadness and a genuine sense of shock that we announce the tragic and untimely death of our friend and colleague Dr Nick Constantinou on Sunday 19 April.

Nick enjoyed a long and fruitful association with the University of Essex. Initially, he joined the Department of Physics in 1984 as a PhD student under the supervision of Mike Cottam (now Western University, Ontario, Canada). Nick demonstrated his skill as a theoretical physicist almost immediately and by 1986 he published a paper solving a very complex problem. The paper was entitled, ‘Green function theory of light scattering from plasmons in a superlattice with electron gas layers.’ After being awarded his PhD in 1988, Nick continued publishing papers in theoretical physics into the mid 1990s with Mike, Mohamed Babiker, Brian Ridley, Bilal Tanatar and other colleagues.

Nick also met his wife Pam at the University of Essex, Pam being a fellow PhD student in an experimental research group. Whilst working with Brian Ridley’s team, Nick was approached to use his theoretical physics talent in the City and started what was to become a very successful career in the City, leading eventually to becoming Global Head of Market Risk Management for HSBC Securities (1997-2003) and HSBC Insurance (2003-2008).

In September 2008, Nick re-joined the University of Essex as the HSBC Senior Fellow Lecturer in the Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents (CCFEA). He was subsequently appointed as a Lecturer in Finance at Essex Business School (EBS) in September 2009 and became Deputy Director for the Essex MBA. He played a key role in the successful launch of the MBA in September 2010, a programme he continued to support and develop until the very last and which will bear an indelible Constantinou imprint for many years to come.

Nick made a huge impact, both professional and personal, in his relatively short spell at the Business School. Another enduring legacy is the solid foundation he laid for the Business School’s engagement with the City and financial institutions. His research and professional expertise meant that he was instrumental in the introduction of the very successful MSc in Financial Engineering and Risk Management degree at EBS. He pioneered the new BE653 module Industry Expert Lectures in Finance. This module is taught exclusively by leading finance industry experts and practitioners.

Nick also developed and managed internship opportunities for our brightest PhD Finance students at both HSBC and Invesco Perpetual. These offer a unique opportunity for our PhD students to work one day per week at these leading institutions over a period of six months or more. As a result, our PhD is recognised by City Institutions such as HSBC as providing an appropriate background in risk management. Several of our PhDs have secured employment at leading City institutions including the Bank of England.

Nick was an excellent and generous academic; a wonderful colleague who was both passionate and careful in his work. A genuinely lovely person, he had a laid back approach to life and gave a beaming smile when enjoying moments of humour. He will be hugely missed by his many friends, colleagues and students in CCFEA, EBS, the Physics community and the wider University. We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to his wife Pam and their children Sophia and Peter.

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