Overview of the award winners from left to right: Ramon Hilber, Swiss Life thesis award in the Bachelor's category, Stefan Mächler, Group Chief Investment Officer, Bryan Haag, Honourable Mention in the Bachelor's category
A total of 16 Bachelor's and Master's theses on financial issues were nominated this year from universities all over Switzerland for the Swiss Life Thesis Award. A specialist jury judged three theses to be excellent, singling out the corresponding authors for the coveted awards. The aim of Swiss Life Asset Managers, which was acting as main sponsor of the event, is to promote practice-relevant research work. Stefan Mächler, Chief Investment Officer of the Swiss Life Group, praised the achievements of the newly crowned winners at yesterday’s prize-giving ceremony: "Presenting a research topic in a way that is both academically substantiated and at the same time practice-relevant is a challenge. With their nomination for the Swiss Life Thesis Award, these students and graduates have proven their ability to evaluate sophisticated financial topics in a differentiated way. The prizes should also offer an incentive to future graduates in the financial area to embark on work of this kind." Professor Christoph Lengwiler, jury member and lecturer of the Institute for Financial Services in Zug (IFZ), part of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, also praised the theses: "I am delighted that we received some excellent submissions on financial topics again this year. It is important for students to grapple with complex financial questions and economic interrelations. Studies of this kind provide important findings for other researchers, and thus form the foundation for the further development of both academic and practical knowledge."
Review of the award winners
Christoph Leuenberger, from Möriken, who is a graduate of both the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), completed a Master’s thesis on the exchange rate exposure of Swiss public limited companies and the factors determining this exposure. This involved analysis of the data of 122 companies over the period 2000- 2014. He was awarded the Swiss Life thesis award in the Master's category, worth CHF 5000. The jury’s verdict: "This comprehensive compilation of data provides new findings on the exchange rate exposure of Swiss companies, which will have implications for a number of decision-makers."
Ramon Hilber, a graduate of the St. Gallen University of Applied Sciences (FHS), resident in Gossau, completed a Bachelor’s thesis in which he looked at a new budgeting process concept for a bank. The jury’s verdict: "His in-depth analysis resulted in a clearly structured action recommendation for optimising the client’s budgeting process, and he is accordingly awarded the Swiss Life thesis award in the Bachelor’s category, worth CHF 5000."
Bryan Haag, from Lucerne, a graduate of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, completed a thesis that investigated liquidity in the Swiss financial market and highlighted the repercussions for institutional investors on the basis of appropriate key figures. In addition, he subjected different asset categories to analysis and measured the liquidity of individual securities. The jury’s verdict: "Engaging with this important topic and producing a comprehensive analysis of various asset categories brings important findings to light, which will serve as a useful basis for further research." The jury acknowledged these 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 Awards, 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 the 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 awards 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, lecturer 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