The 2008 WHU Finance Award was conferred to Torsten Schöneborn and Alexander Schied from TU Berlin, Germany. His paper entitled "Competing players in illiquid markets" was acknowledged by the jury as the best submission to 2008´s Research Conference. Thus, the work was awarded with a prize money of € 1000.

About Torsten Schöneborn's and Alexander Schied's paper:

"The paper provides the analysis of strategic trading of distressed liquidity traders, i.e. the oprimal liquidation strategy under time restrictions. The paper is of interest for asset managers who have to unwind huge asset positions due to liquidity reasons. It delivers astonishing results: little competition (quantified by the count of competitors) is bad for the distressed liquidity trader. The paper formulates policy implications for asset managers as concnerns the disclosure of liquidity needs. The paper is written such that one understands the paper during the first read. The paper is very straightforward and immediately publishable and thus internationally competitive. It is simply excellent."

The 2nd prize witz a prize money of € 500 was awarded to Matthias Bank and Jochen Lawrenz from the University of Innsbruck, Austria for his work entitled "Demand deposits as commitment device and the optimal debt mix of banks in a continuous-time framework".

About Matthias Bank's and Jochen Lawrenz's paper:

"The goal of the paper is to present a theory for the optimal capital structure of banks. This is a challenging research question because the standard arguments in the literature, which explain optimal capital structures of non-financial firms, do not apply to banks. A major difference is - for example - the fact that banks can collect deposits which exhibit fundamentally different characteristics than the available financing instruments for non-financial firms. By incorporating the properties of both deposits and bonds into a continuous-time model, the authors provide a convincing motivation for the fact that the optimal capital structure of banks is a mix of deposits and bonds This paper is an outstanding piece of work because it applies a sophisticated model in a comprehensible way that allows to considerably contribute to the literature in the followin three ways: Firstly, while most related papers are not able to explain an optimal capital structure of banks, the paper drives the optimal amount of bank's debt. Secondly, the authors not only allow for one financing instrument but for a financing mix with deposits and bonds. Thirdly, important theoretical implications are gained from a numerical analysis that can be evaluated in a further study."

The 3rd prize (EUR 500) was granted to Aurélien Alfonsi, Alexander Schied and Antje Schulz from the TU Berlin, Germany for their paper "Optimal execution strategies in limit order books with general shape functions".

About Aurélien Alfonsi's, Alexander Schied's and Antje Schulz's paper:

"The paper is a high quality work. it is indicated to be work in progress although it is already at a very elaborate level. The referee considers it to be internationally competitive and publishable upon completion. The paper is of both interest and importance for institutional asset managers who have to transact large blocks of shares."

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