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Commemorative Award Celebrates Financial Faces of the Future

A pair of exceptional finance students at the University of Reading have won prestigious investment banking awards sponsored by the Securities & Investment Institute.

Richard Stephens (left) and Thomas Burdett (right), both students at the University's prestigious ICMA Centre, have won the Stephen Cooke Scholarship Prize, which commemorates the late Stephen Cooke, former Senior Partner and CEO of the stockbroking firm Gerrard Vivian Gray.

The prize of up to £2,000 is awarded annually to two of the University's best performing second year BSc International Securities, Investment and Banking (ISIB) students, and in order to win the award they are measured on an essay submitted to the Securities & Investment Institute board, their academic results and interviews held at the SII in London.

Thomas, aged 19, said: "I'm proud to receive this prestigious award. It reinforces that I've made the correct degree choice and I can't think of a better way to start what I hope will be a long and successful career in finance. I cannot praise the ICMA Centre enough. It's a unique course that is absolutely ideal for anyone interested in the world of finance."

Richard, 21, said: "I am honoured to receive the scholarship, especially considering the strength of the other candidates competing. The practical nature of the ISIB degree programme complemented by the wealth of expertise that students can draw upon at the ICMA Centre, provide an excellent education for the world of financial services. I hope I can build on the scholarship and the ISIB and have a long and successful career in the City."

Richard, from Oakham, in Rutland, and Thomas, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, received their awards from the Lord Mayor of London at a ceremony at Mansion House in London at the end of February.

Stephen Cooke was a member of the Board of the Securities Institute, of the London Stock Exchange and of the Association of Private Client Investment Managers (APCIMS). He was Chief Executive of Gerrard Vivian Gray. Stephen Cooke tragically died young in 1997 following a long illness. His particular passion was education and to keep his name alive, his friends and business associates raised funds to provide scholarships to students who are considering careers in the financial services industry.

The purpose of the awards is to encourage students on the ICMA Centre's BSc International Securities, Investment and Banking to focus on achieving high examination grades and to acquire a good understanding of the finance industry and personal qualities required for a successful career in finance.

The Securities & Investment Institute, the education and training organisation for the securities industry, which is based in Monument Street in the City of London, holds the memorial fund as part of its charitable activities.

Published 2 March 2007

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