David Emanuel Scholarship: Words of thanks from a scholar
25 February 2021
Jonathan Manickam talks about an inspirational meeting with Emeritus Professor David Emanuel and how the scholarship lifted his career prospects.
“I want to express my immense gratitude to Professor Emanuel. I was truly inspired while speaking to you. Your ventures overseas and professional experiences have broadened my idea of what is possible in my career,” says Jonathan Manickam, a graduating student of the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) – Finance.
Jonathan is the very first recipient of the David M Emanuel Research Scholarship in Accounting and Finance. The scholarship was launched in April 2020 through the initiative of Emeritus Professor Emanuel’s former students, Raphael Chin and Dr Alister Hunt, with the support of numerous other former students, friends and colleagues.
The scholarship aims to inspire a future generation of accounting and finance researchers by supporting their graduate study. It is also a fitting tribute to ‘a giant and legend of the accounting community’, who sadly passed away on 18 February.
Fortuitously, Jonathan had the unique privilege of meeting David in person last year when he was awarded the scholarship, and it’s an experience he will never forget. During that meeting David spoke of his professional and academic endeavours, which Jonathan found ‘incredibly exciting and impressive’.
“David also listened to my research proposal and posed questions, which helped develop my research questions further and gave me even more motivation as I wrote my dissertation,” Jonathan says.
The scholarship aims to inspire a future generation of accounting and finance researchers by supporting their graduate study. It is also a fitting tribute to ‘a giant and legend of the accounting community’.
Moving to Auckland
Jonathan completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Canterbury. He had just finished an internship with UBS and was looking to complete one more year of study so he could start a graduate role. But he was also keen to try out a different university to learn from different lecturers and gain new perspectives.
“Ultimately what drew me to the University of Auckland was the guaranteed postgraduate research scholarship on offer. The financial support that the scholarship provided made my move up to Auckland from Christchurch much easier,” he says.
As a new postgraduate student who had just moved to Auckland, Jonathan was glad to find a few other students in his classes who were in the same boat.
“With the pandemic, it was difficult to make new friends through University events, clubs or societies, but I had ample learning support from my peers and lecturers.”
With the pandemic, it was difficult to make new friends through University events, clubs or societies, but I had ample learning support from my peers and lecturers.
Reassured about the validity of his BCom (Honours) research topic through the scholarship grant, Jonathan focused on investigating the impacts of index inclusion on the likelihood of capital raising for businesses.
He noted the rise of passive investing by retail and institutional investors alike that has resulted in various impacts and anomalies. However, this is an area that has not yet been well-researched until now. Specifically, the study found that if a firm is included in a widely traded index, it is more likely to raise capital.
Jonathan explains that this finding is valuable to both academics and professionals. For academics, it provides further insight into the decision making process of managers when conducting a seasoned equity offering. For professionals, it could lead to more informed recommendations and corporate actions.
Pursuing his passion in finance
“My passion and interest in finance inspire me to do what I do. The aim of completing my honours in finance was to work in the finance sector. I was super lucky to be offered a graduate role in the investment banking (global banking) team of UBS,” Jonathan says.
Since moving to Auckland to study on a scholarship and completing his degree, Jonathan has moved up in his role at UBS as Investment Banking Analyst. Eventually, he aspires to tailor his finance skills to the technology sector, potentially working on technology-related transactions.
“I am truly honoured to be the first recipient of this scholarship. I had not met Professor Emanuel prior to receiving the scholarship. However, having read some of his publications and met him in person, it is abundantly clear that he has had an immense positive impact on the research fields he has focused on, as well as the people and businesses around him.
“Individuals and the organisations around them are going to continue to feel this positive impact well into the future due to this scholarship.”
You can support future researchers in accounting and finance like Jonathan by giving to the David M Emanuel Research Scholarship in Accounting & Finance.