On Tuesday evening, Swiss Life Asset Managers, together with Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and media partner Finanz und Wirtschaft, awarded the Swiss Life Thesis Award for the best Master’s and Bachelor’s theses on financial issues at universities of applied sciences for the tenth time.
A total of 28 Bachelor's and Master's theses on financial issues from universities of applied sciences across Switzerland were nominated for the 2023 Swiss Life Thesis Award. A jury of experts rated four theses as
outstanding. The winners received the coveted award on Tuesday evening at Swiss Life’s head office in Zurich as well as a cash prize for their outstanding achievement. This is the tenth year in which Swiss Life Asset Managers has presented the Thesis Award and Honourable Mention for the best Bachelor’s and Master’s theses on financial issues. To mark this ten-year anniversary, former prize winners and jurors also attended the event.
Stefan Mächler, Chief Investment Officer of the Swiss Life Group, once again praised the diversity of the theses at this year’s award ceremony. “The graduates dealt with a wide range of current challenges and phenomena on the financial markets and in financial services companies. It is a real art to present academic research topics in a vivid and practical way.” Professor Christoph Lengwiler, jury member and external lecturer at the Institute of Financial Services in Zug (IFZ), part of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences
and Arts, also praised their outstanding achievement: “I am delighted that once again this year, universities of applied sciences submitted 28 outstanding Bachelor’s and Master’s theses – a balanced mix of research-oriented and practice-oriented assignments. It is important for students to grapple with complex financial questions and economic interrelations. The students’ work is of practical benefit and, in some cases, also provides new findings for other researchers. All nominees can be very proud of what they have achieved.”
Review of the award winners
Hava Berisha, from Lachen, a graduate of ZHAW, wrote a thesis addressing the question of how digital nudging can be used to motivate millennials to make early provisions for their retirement. The jury’s verdict: “A very interesting thesis that sheds new light on a contemporary issue. What particularly stands out is the
comprehensive base of data, which involved considerable effort to collect and process.” Hava Berisha was awarded the Swiss Life Thesis Award in the Bachelor's category, worth CHF 5000.
Simon Zehnder, from Zug, a graduate of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, examined in his thesis whether the sensitivities of the risk factors in the Fama-French five-factor model react cyclically to different market phases and whether there are sector-specific differences. “We would particularly like to mention the advanced level of the work, in terms of both the topic addressed and methodology used. The thesis adds real value and is an important contribution to research in this field.” The jury acknowledged this work with an Honourable Mention in the Bachelor’s category, worth CHF 2500.
Dominique Flück, from Bern, a graduate of Bern University of Applied Sciences, examined the competition between big tech companies and Swiss banks for mortgage loans. He analysed customer preferences and publicity effects to gain insights into the market opportunities and marketing strategies of big tech companies. The jury’s verdict: “The research he has carried out on a timely and important topic is most remarkable. This thesis is highly substantive and offers valuable insights into this field.” With this work, Dominique Flück earned the Swiss Life Thesis Award in the Master's category, worth CHF 5000.
Michael Marti, from Zumikon, a graduate of Zurich University of Applied Sciences, examined the feasibility of a know-your-customer token in terms of technology, regulation and usage. He defined the requirements to be met in order for an exchange of KYC data to take place in the future. The jury’s verdict: “He carried out extensive research into technical, regulatory and user-specific challenges and set out potential solutions with great care and attention. The results are remarkable and offer a real insight into the topic.” The author received the Honourable Mention in the Master’s category, worth CHF 2500.
The prize winners’ institutions each receive CHF 1500 for a Swiss Life Thesis Award and CHF 1000 for an Honourable Mention.
About the Swiss Life Thesis Award
Each year, the Swiss Life Thesis Award, in collaboration with the Institute of Financial Services in Zug (IFZ),
part of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and Finanz und Wirtschaft, promotes innovative and practice-oriented research work at Swiss universities of applied sciences on topics such as financial investments, financial markets, financial services companies, financial instruments and corporate finance. The best theses are awarded the prize in recognition of the students’ achievements.
Swiss Life Thesis Award jury members
- Philippe Béguelin, Head of Markets Department, Finanz und Wirtschaft
- Claudia Bernasconi, Head of Current Account at the Swiss National Bank (SNB)
- Rita Fleer, Economist Quantitative Analysis, Swiss Life Asset Managers
- Peter Kaste, Head Financial Engineering, Swiss Life Asset Managers
- Prof. Christoph Lengwiler, external lecturer at the Institute of Financial Services in Zug (IFZ), Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (until 2023)
- Diego Liechti, Member of the Executive Board of the Nest Collective Foundation