In a repeat of last year, Joseph Lau from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has won the 2016 Financial Modelling World Championship, followed closely by Diarmud Early from Deutsche Bank in second place and Peter Suen from StepStone in third. This year’s London Finals brought together 19 of the best financial modelers from around the world who had battled their way through to the final from a field of thousands in the earlier online qualification rounds. Victory once again ensures Lau retains the iconic Golden Keyboard and picks up another £10,000 in prize money in 2016.
This was Lau’s third finals appearance and his second consecutive title, making him the first repeat champion in ModelOff’s history. The win did not come easily though with the likes of Diarmud Early pushing Lau throughout the 5 hours of rigorous testing. However, it was Lau’s experience and calmness under pressure that finally prevailed as he scored the equal highest marks in the last 2-hour challenge and edged out Diarmud by just 3% on the final scorecard.
A lot was said last year about Lau winning the title at the age of 43 and it had even earned him the nick-name of ‘The Fine Wine’ because he just keeps getting better with age. As it turns out 44 years old (2016) is also a good vintage for ‘The Fine Wine’ Lau and he is showing no signs of slowing down with his eyes now firmly set on the 2017 World Championships.
Overall, the finalists agreed that this year’s testing was some of the most challenging that the ModelOff competition has produced. It was also the first time that time zone changes had been considered for the online qualifying rounds in attempt to even out the field and challenge the competitors. The Question Design Team of Dan Mayoh, Alex Gordon and Hilary Smart also looked to push the finalists by pressuring them with tight time deadlines during the finals to make them work both hard, and fast. However, despite these new challenges, the ‘champ’ prevailed and created history by winning back-to-back Financial Modelling World Championships.
A big thank you to everyone who supported the competition this year. Especially Intralinks, S&P Global, PwC and the whole product team at Microsoft Excel.