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2020 winners

Back to The Risk Prize

The Cambridge-McKinsey Risk Prize.

Congratulations to the 2020 finalists

The first prize for the 2020 Risk Prize was awarded to Sam Vosper at the Cambridge Risk Summit on 23 June 2020.

Visit the 2020 Risk Summit event page

First place finalist

Sam Vosper.

Sam Vosper, PhD candidate, Department of Land Economy and Researcher, Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG)

This essay presents one of the first case studies to shed light on the significant impact that basis risk can have on the uptake of index insurances. Here Sam explored these dynamics of adoption for an active micro-insurance product at an unprecedentedly large scale. This case study considers a novel index insurance to manage agricultural crop losses which has seen near 200,000 adoptions by smallholder farmers across southern Kenya. The findings have important implications for tackling challenges of poverty and food security by also for the proliferation of index insurance to other development agendas, such as energy and health.

Insure or Unsure? A Case of the Basis Risk Dilemma in the Developing World


Honorable mentions

Moritz Baer.

Moritz Baer, Master of Philosophy in Environmental Policy candidate, University of Cambridge

The urgent need for mitigating climate change, as set out in the Paris Agreement and the IPCC report is calling for a substantial reallocation of capital away from the fossil industry in order to achieve a transition towards a low-carbon economy. This transition is likely to entail significant risks for the financial system and the real economy. This essay aims at:

  1. investigating a specific type of such risk – the risk stemming from Stranded Fossil Fuel Assets (SFFA)
  2. deriving relevant risk-mitigating implications for the private sector and regulators.

The ‘Three Trillion Dollar Financial Exposure to Stranded Fossil Fuel Assets’ – Risks and Opportunities

Bradley Lloyd Gibb.

Bradley Lloyd Gibb, MBA candidate, Cambridge Judge Business School

Plastics represent a serious ESG challenge for beverage companies within the UK. Increasing headwinds from consumer awareness, coupled with government legislation imposing greater producer responsibility, will severely impact the economics of the beverage industry operating model. This paper describes and addresses the financial effects of four identified plastic risks; plastic permissibility, container deposit return schemes, plastic taxes and plastic bans. In a worst-case scenario, the cumulative impacts from these risks are modelled at a cost of £688 million per year by 2024. Several potential mitigation activities are discussed to counter the potential impacts of these risks.

All Bottled Up: Lifting the Lid on Plastic Risk in the UK Beverage Industry

McKinsey & Company.