This year, the Swiss Life thesis award attracted a total of 24 Bachelor's and Master's theses on financial issues submitted from universities all over Switzerland. Four of them stood out in the eyes of the expert jury and received the coveted prizes. The aim of this prize, which is sponsored by Swiss Life Asset Managers, is to promote practically-oriented research. Stefan Mächler, Chief Investment Officer of Swiss Life Group, praised the award winners' performances at yesterday's ceremony: "The graduates and students took a critical look at current models, developed new approaches and highlighted those factors affecting competition. In so doing, they have made a material contribution to furthering our know-how in research and practice." Prof. Christoph Lengwiler, jury member and Head of the Institute for Financial Services in Zug, part of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts also stressed: "It's important for Swiss universities to address current financial issues. So it's great to see students and lecturers dealing with contemporary financial themes, furthering their research and sharing significant findings for the future with all market participants. It's a pleasure to reward such work."
Review of the award winners
Brigitte Obrist from Suhr, graduate of Lucerne School of Business, wrote her thesis on economic espionage and the future of state defences. She was awarded the Swiss Life thesis award in the Master's category worth CHF 5000.
Verdict of the jury: "The work addresses a highly topical economic danger, which often receives an inadequate response from industry. Her findings form a basis for further, more in-depth discussion."
Samir Sifeddine, a student at Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) who lives in Bern, analysed whether crowdfunding can be a strategic business area for banks.
Verdict of the jury: "The author deserved an Honourable Mention in the master's category worth CHF 2500, for his systematic approach, which led to a clear recommendation for action."
Louis Johner from Môtier (Vully), graduate of the Fribourg School of Management (HEG), authored a Bachelor's thesis entitled "Monte Carlo simulations for real estate portfolio and risk management". He was awarded the Swiss Life Thesis Award in the Bachelor's category, worth CHF 5000.
Verdict of the jury: "The work is well-structured and provides new approaches for quantifying risks in real estate portfolios."
Simon Pfister, student at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) who lives in Opfikon, dealt with Swiss private investors' preference for investing their assets domestically in his Bachelor's thesis.
Verdict of the jury: "This study of the home bias phenomenon brings
important findings to light, which provide a platform for more in-depth
research." The jury acknowledged the results with an Honourable Mention in the Bachelor's category worth CHF 2500.
The prizewinners' institutions receive CHF 1500 for the bestowal of the Swiss Life Thesis Award, and CHF 1000 for the Honourable Mention.
About the Swiss Life Thesis Award
The Swiss Life Thesis Award, presented in cooperation with the Institute for Financial Services Zug (IFZ), part of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and the business paper Finanz und Wirtschaft, provides a platform for innovative and practice-oriented research work at Swiss institutes of higher education. The best theses in the fields of financial investments, financial markets, financial services companies, financial instruments and corporate finance are singled out for award each year.
Swiss Life Thesis Award jury members
Philippe Béguelin, Head of Markets Department, Finanz und Wirtschaft
Peter Kuster, Head of Editing and Proofreading, Swiss National Bank
Professor Christoph Lengwiler, Head of the Institute of Financial Services Zug (IFZ), part of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Dr. Annelis Lüscher Hämmerli, Chief Risk Officer, Swiss Life Asset Managers
Dr. Hansruedi Scherer, Partner and Member of the Executive Committee, PPCmetrics, Zurich
Overview of the award winners from left to right:
- Samir Siffedine, Honourable Mention in the Master's category
- Brigitte Obrist, Winner of the Swiss Life thesis award in the Master's category
- Simon Pfister, Honourable Mention in the Bachelor's category
- Stefan Mächler, Group Chief Investment Officer