On October 28th, the Koblenz University Award was presented for the first time on the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management premises. In previous years, the ceremony took place at the Koblenz City Hall. Professor Markus Rudolf, WHU Dean, emphasized that the idea of the award, however, remained the same, saying in his opening address, "We want to interlink science and business in this region." Cynthia Oldehaver took home the WHU 2021 award based on her bachelor's thesis entitled "Trading Volume and Preferences of Robinhood Retail Investors in the Covid-19 Crisis."
In her highly topical work, Oldehaver primarily examined data from the American trading platform Robinhood. The platform caused an uproar at the beginning of the year in the wake of the "GameStop" debacle, in which a large group of private investors voted on the Internet platform Reddit on when to sell GameStop shares. Robinhood restricted the sale of the stock - which the investors sued to stop - for which the lawsuits are ongoing. Oldehaver's research found that retail investors invested more in stocks during the Corona crisis than before, especially those of companies with low cash reserves, low profitability, and high international exposure. After the announcement of expansionary fiscal and monetary policy measures, the strategy of private investors reverted to a momentum strategy, which goes with the market trend instead of against it.
At the Koblenz University Award ceremony, as always, a broad spectrum of topics emerged, ranging from the use of urban land planning for climate protection to cybercrime and suicide prevention among children and young people. Award winners from other participating universities include: Victoria Emrich (Rhineland-Palatinate University of Public Administration), Vincent van Bracht (German Federal Bank University of Applied Sciences), Saskia Breitner (Koblenz University of Applied Sciences), Maximilian Hölzl (Police University of Applied Sciences), Lola Maria Amekor (Vallendar University of Philosophy and Theology), Dr. Vera Ruthsatz (Koblenz-Landau University), Sabrina Wittelsberger (zfh Center for Distance Learning in Higher Education).
The Koblenz University Award is presented annually by the Wirtschafts- und Wissenschaftsallianz Region Koblenz e.V. (WWA) in order to support young scientists both idealistically and financially. Each year, the WWA, which is composed of universities and companies, municipalities, and educational institutions in the north of Rhineland-Palatinate, honors eight scientific papers. The prize is endowed with a total of 20,000 euros. Next year, the Police University of Rhineland-Palatinate will host the ceremony.