The Centre for Analytical Finance at the ISB represents the ISB’s guiding principle that excellence in management education comes through extensive high-quality research. Even as the first post-graduate programme (PGP) was being launched at the ISB in year 2000, the School formulated plans to set up five centres of excellence in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Analytical Finance, Leadership and Change Management, Technology and Strategic Marketing. The research activities of the centres would have a focus on, but would not be limited to, issues and problems in emerging economies. It was envisioned that the centres would attract and engage the best minds in the respective areas as well as make use of the distinctive opportunities provided by the ISB’s location and world-class infrastructural facilities.

In early 2003, an initial brainstorming meeting was held in Mumbai to draw up action plans for the Centre for Analytical Finance. The heads of India’s most important financial services firms, including HDFC, ICICI, and SBI, and the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India attended the meeting. Professor Raghuram Rajan (ISB and University of Chicago) represented the ISB. The concept note for the Centre drawn up at the meeting delineated the proposed objectives, activities, and structure of the Centre.