Cass MBA Alumnus wins Lombard Prize

Cass full-time MBA Alumnus Pearce Watson has won this year’s Worshipful Company of International Bankers Lombard Prize.

Cass full-time MBA Alumnus Pearce Watson has won this year’s Worshipful Company of International Bankers Lombard Prize.

The Lombard Prize was initiated by Alan Moore CBE in the early 1990's when he was Chairman of the Lombard Association, to reward an outstanding student of Cass Business School evening MBA Programme. The Lombard Association then merged with the Bankers Club and became the Worshipful Company of International Bankers in 2001, and the prize was extended to include the winners of Company prizes at all of the universities which are affiliated with the Company.

Pearce, a senior trader, market development at, leading multinational dairy company, Fonterra, said: “To receive an award across a number of top UK universities is a bit of a shock, it reminds me what a great experience doing the MBA was for me and how much I learnt during the process.

“I now trade dairy futures on the NZX (New Zealand Exchange) and look at ways to help bring farmers to the market as a way to manage their price risk. It might sound pretty boring but it is actually awesome and I definitely couldn’t have gotten here without my degree from Cass.

“I found the Cass MBA a fantastic and life changing experience. I instantly had a whole new network of like-minded individuals looking to meet new people and make some sort of change to their career. The course material was really informative and I learnt a lot through the diverse subject matter and hands-on projects, but by far the part I most enjoyed was getting to know my classmates."

New Zealand-based Pearce has won £1,500 and a silver salver engraved with his name. He said: “I’ll probably spend it on a trip to Southeast Asia or the USA with my girlfriend at some stage.”

Pearce won the prize for his submission, What Would Create Sustainable Depth On The ‘Sell Side’ Of The New Zealand Dairy Futures Market?

He said: “I grew up on a dairy farm in NZ and all of my working experience has been on the financial side of that industry, so something in that general field was a natural fit. I spoke to a number of people and it was clear that price risk management, particularly for New Zealand farmers, was an area that was topical but hadn’t had much prior research focus. With the volatility in global dairy prices set to continue it is clear that all parts of the industry need tools to help them manage that volatility. My thesis looked at ways to help make that happen.”