Wealth management thesis wins prestigious Worshipful Company of International Bankers Prize

An image of GemmaAfter researching and writing a compelling thesis which considered whether digital assets should form part of a modern-day investment portfolio, Gemma Samworth (MBA, 2021) has been awarded the prestigious Worshipful Company of International Bankers (WCIB) Prize 2022, for the best dissertation.

Given the emergence of digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, Gemma’s award-winning dissertation is very topical, and also placed her as a runner-up for the WCIB’s Lombard Prize.

Gemma shared: “Winning the Worshipful Company of International Bankers Prize 2022 and being a runner-up for the Lombard Prize for my dissertation are significant honours. This recognition affirms that my contributions to the field of banking and wealth management have been acknowledged by esteemed organisations.

“I am grateful for the opportunities these awards bring, allowing me to connect with professionals in the industry and further pursue my passion for advancing financial knowledge and making meaningful contributions in this area.”

With a particular focus on wealth management, Gemma has found that incorporating digital assets would allow professionals to capitalise on opportunities and potentially enhance portfolio performance. The research highlighted three key areas:

  • Cryptocurrencies are a nascent and complex topic, requiring wealth managers and clients to have a deep understanding of their underlying technology and evolving regulatory landscape before implementing them into portfolios.
  • The suitability of cryptocurrencies as an investment option is influenced by several factors at the macro environment, firm and client levels, emphasising the need for a holistic assessment when evaluating the viability of cryptocurrencies as an investment option.
  • Investing in cryptocurrencies entails unavoidable risks such as extreme volatility, regulatory uncertainty, security issues and underdeveloped custodian agreements.

Having the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, one of the livery companies of the City of London, recognise the hard work and dedication that went into the dissertation is a significant achievement for Gemma.

It’s not just been awards ceremonies since graduating either! Gemma has also embarked on an exciting new professional journey in Switzerland transitioning into the wealth management industry with a focus on the UK market and serving ultra-high net worth individuals.

As a private banker at Credit Suisse, Gemma shared: “I have developed a deep understanding of clients’ financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment preferences, enabling me to tailor my services to meet their expectations effectively.”

“One of my key responsibilities is to utilise my relationship building and communication skills to challenge and collaborate with clients regarding their wealth goals.”

“Additionally, I collaborate with internal partners such as credit, risk management, and legal teams to ensure regulatory compliance and adherence to internal policies and procedures. I also actively work on building a strong pipeline of potential clients through networking, referrals and intermediaries, in order to expand the client base and contribute to the overall growth of the business.”

With much academic and professional success in the last few years, Gemma credits her MBA studies as “integral” to her recent achievements. Developing strong skills such as analytical and critical thinking; a solid understanding of finance and accounting principles; marketing and strategic insights; leadership and communication; and an entrepreneurial mindset, have been pivotal to Gemma’s career progression.

“These skills have provided a strong foundation for my role, allowing me to excel in serving my clients’ unique needs and driving their financial success.”

Among many reasons for choosing Bayes to complete her MBA studies, Gemma highlights the strength of its Alumni Network. “It provides excellent networking opportunities, mentorship possibilities and access to exclusive events. Additionally, the School’s career services team has a proven track record of supporting students in securing internships and full-time positions in top international firms.”

When asked about some of the standout memories from her time at Bayes, Gemma has many! From placing second in the Venture Capital Investment Competition to working with Red Bull on a strategic consulting project, while also winning two strategy presentations during the course, Gemma has experienced much success and enjoyment through Bayes.

“Beyond these specific achievements, what truly made my time at Bayes special was the opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who were equally driven and passionate about personal growth and development. The friendships I formed during my studies have become lifelong connections, providing support and inspiration even beyond our time at Bayes.

“These memories have shaped my journey and continue to resonate with me as I progress in my career.”