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Photograph of Avery Alysworth with his Lombard Prize certificate

MSc Finance graduate, Avery Aylsworth has been awarded the Lombard Prize for Best Dissertation 2023 at the prestigious Worshipful Company of International Bankers (WCIB) Annual Banquet held in the Lord Mayor of London’s Mansion House.

The Lombard Prize for Best Dissertation

Originally from San Jose, California, Avery began his MSc Finance and Investment degree at Durham in 2022. He submitted his dissertation, 'Machine Learning Methodologies for the Systematic Prediction of S&P 500 Index Deletions’ to the Worshipful Company of International Bankers as part of their annual competition open to all universities affiliated with the Company – the Lombard Prize.

All entrants submit a 700-word executive summary of their work and an oral presentation recording in response to two questions set by the WCIB. The Lombard Prize dates to the early 1990s and winners receive a solid silver Armada dish inscribed with the Company and winner’s names, along with a cash prize of £1,500 and a certificate of merit. The winner is also offered Honorary Membership of the Company for one year and is be invited to the prestigious WCIB Annual Banquet to receive the Prize. 

An outstanding dissertation

Dr Kumushoy Abduraimova, Assistant Professor in Finance and Avery’s dissertation supervisor commented, “…This is an excellent academic work that at the same time offers valuable insights for practitioners. The significance of the paper goes beyond a prediction exercise. The existence of risk premia in index removals prediction and demonstrated ability to extract it have important implications for market efficiency argument.”. 

Reflecting on the annual banquet that he attended, Avery said, “[There were] so many interesting people from so many different backgrounds all gathered in one place, it was truly a wonderful evening. Being surrounded by such incredibly accomplished people was great and I am very excited to get more integrated into the Company and represent Durham well”. 

Professor Julian Williams, Head of the Finance Department was delighted with Avery’s success. “Avery came from a previous degree at Loyola University, Chicago and did his degree with us, has an excellent job in London and has now also been proclaimed best overall MSc Business/Finance student in the UK. This is the second year in a row and 3rd in 5 years for us to win the overall Lombard Prize for best UK dissertation. A fantastic achievement for the Department and the School. It highlights the calibre of graduate that our globally ranking Master’s in Finance attracts”.


More information

Photograph of MSc Finance graduate Avery Aylesworth with Lombard Prize

MSc Finance and Investment graduate, Avery Aylesworth with WCIB Lombard Prize award

Photograph of Avery Alysworth being presented with his Lombard Prize certificate

Avery Aylesworth being presented with WCIB Lombard Prize award

Photograph of WCIB Mansion House Banquet

The WCIB annual banquet in the Mansion House, London