A team of students in Columbia University's M.S. in Enterprise Risk Management program won second place in the annual Risk Management Challenge hosted by the Professional Risk Managers' International Association (PRMIA) on April 12, 2022. The team, which included Ann Breslawski, '24SPS, Gilad Rabina '23BUS, Keith Saylor, '23SPS, and Laurin Vogel, '22SPS, was mentored by Lecturer Zava Aydemir and also won Best Presentation and Demonstration in the competition's MATLAB Challenge for their working dashboard on climate risk using London residential data.
In the 2021 competition, a team of ERM students mentored by Lecturer Alan Cheng were first-place winners in the N.Y. chapter and international finalists.
Keith shares his experience working with the team throughout the challenge, and how they applied methodologies and theories learned in the program to their case study.
Our team entered the PRMIA Risk Management competition for the challenge and with the goal of promoting Columbia in the risk management field. We wanted to test our Columbia-acquired knowledge against other international risk management and business school programs by applying value-based ERM practices to a new problem. The subject of this year’s competition was climate risk management for mortgage banking. It was an insightful learning opportunity—integrating the lessons from the subprime crisis with rapidly evolving ESG risks—and a new use case for value-based ERM, Sim Segal's methodology that underpins the Columbia ERM program.
We placed second out of fifty-six teams in the overall competition, and we placed first in the modeling component. We are very proud we presented a compellingly practical, thoughtful, and adaptable solution.
Our team worked extraordinarily well together, all virtually. We had complementary strengths and were comfortable speaking our minds. We knew we could count on each other. We also had a fantastic mentor, Zava Aydemir, an ERM lecturer who teaches Cognitive Bias in ERM. Zava was the model of a Columbia instructor—in expertise, humility, and relevance—without whom we would not have distinguished ourselves. Our team name, "Risk Seekers", was based on a term from the behavioral economics concept of prospect theory taught in Zava's class.