Dr Ayesha Scott

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Senior Lecturer

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 – ext: 5617

Email: ayesha.scott@aut.ac.nz


  • PhD in Financial Econometrics, Queensland University of Technology
  • Bachelor of Business (Honours), Queensland University of Technology
  • Bachelor of Mathematics/Bachelor of Business, Queensland University of Technology

Memberships and Affiliations:

Centre for Interdisciplinary Trauma Research, AUT
Young Women in Finance NZ
Surviving Economic Abuse International Network


Ayesha joined the AUT Business School, Finance Department in October 2016. She obtained her PhD in Financial Econometrics in July 2016 from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia, and has undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Finance. Prior to academia, Ayesha worked as an administrator for a small superannuation fund based in Brisbane. Under the guidance of the investment manager of the fund, she developed an interest in finance. Coupled with passions for teaching and math, a career as a lecturer seemed the obvious choice. Ayesha is a dedicated educator and prides herself on providing an inclusive learning environment that facilitates student excellence. Her approach has been recognised with the receipt of a QUT Faculty Vice-Chancellor Performance Award – Sessional Teacher Award in 2010 and an AUT Business School Teaching Commendation in 2017.

Teaching Areas:

  • Introductory Finance
  • Applied Research Project

Research Areas:

  • Financial abuse and healthy financial relationships
  • Women and finance/money
  • Financial capability and education
  • KiwiSaver
  • Optimal investor decision making
  • Volatility and correlation modelling of asset returns

Research Summary:

Ayesha is an interdisciplinary researcher, with an agenda that spans violence against women, empirical finance, personal finance and financial econometrics. Her work (particularly on KiwiSaver and personal finance) has generated media interest within Aotearoa New Zealand, and you will find her commentary in outlets such as the NZ Herald and stuff.co.nz.
Ayesha is passionate about healthy financial relationships and has ongoing projects exploring the impact of financial and economic abuse in the context of intimate partnerships. This is a critical social issue that must be addressed in NZ and internationally, and her current work aims to give voice to women facing this evasive, invasive and poorly understood form of intimate partner violence.
She is also interested in the personal financial literacy and capability of New Zealanders, including vulnerable populations, and how we might improve the financial fitness of individuals. Poor financial literacy (knowledge of financial concepts) and capability (the ability to use that knowledge to make better decisions) has a significantly negative social and economic impact on a nation, both in terms of the macro economy and individual welfare.
Broadly, her doctoral research focused on the volatility and correlation dynamics of financial assets such as stocks. The near-continuous flow of price and trade data of financial assets presents researchers with opportunities, as well as unique challenges, to capture the return dynamics of these assets individually and as a group. Such models may lead to insights regarding optimal portfolio allocation decisions, information that will directly benefit investors.

Current Research Projects:

  • Financial Literacy and Capability
  • Financial Abuse
  • Financial education (life readiness)
  • Readability of KiwiSaver documents
  • Intraday Correlation of Equity Returns


Journal Articles:
  1. “Short and sweet or just short? The readability of product disclosure statements” (with Aaron Gilbert) Applied Finance Letters (2017), Vol. 6(1), 27–37.
  2. “On the Benefits of Equicorrelation for Portfolio Allocation” (with Adam Clements and Annastiina Silvennoinen) Journal of Forecasting (2015), Vol. 34(6), 507–522.
  3. Volatility dependent correlations: further evidence of when, where and how (with Adam Clements and Annastiina Silvennoinen) Empirical Economics (A), Forthcoming. 

Opinion Pieces:

  1. "The Gender Gap" (Feb. 2019), Juno Investing Magazine
  2. "Have you caught sexually transmitted debt?" (Oct. 2018), Juno Investing Magazine
  3. "Cryptocurrency regulation: risks and rewards" (Mar. 2018) AUT Informer
  4. "Can KiwiSaver providers justify higher fees?" (Oct. 2017) AUT Informer
  5. Focus on fees for long-term KiwiSaver benefit” (Sept. 2017), Scoop Business.
  6. An alternative to compulsory employee contributions”, with Aaron Gilbert, (Sept. 2017), NZ Herald.

Industry Reports:

  1.  “Short and sweet or just short? The readability of product disclosure statements”, with Aaron Gilbert, (Oct. 2017), ACFR Industry Report.
  2. "What Kiwis' Want:  KiwiSaver Product Disclosure Statements", with Aaron Gilbert and Kayla Czar, (May 2018), ACFR Industry Report.



2018        Faculty Contestable Research Grant (“Women’s experiences of Intimate Financial Violence: A banking perspective”), AUT Business School.
2018        Minor Research Grant, AUT Research & Innovation Office.
2018        MBIE Best Paper Award for Capital Markets (“Short and Sweet, or Just Short? The Readability of Product Disclosure Statements”), NZ Finance Colloquium.
2018        Faculty Contestable Research Grant (“The continuation of financial abuse post-separation”), AUT Business School.
2017        Faculty Contestable Research Grant (“Modelling Intraday Correlations using Multivariate GARCH”), AUT Business School.
2010        QUT Faculty Vice-Chancellor Performance Award – Sessional Teacher.
2009 – 2015    Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship.
2009 – 2015    QUT Faculty of Business Top Up Scholarship.
2007 – 2008    QUT Dean’s Award for Excellence.
2005 – 2007    QUT Dean’s List – Business.
2005        McGraw-Hill Australia Prize