Risky Business
Zurich sponsors the inaugural intervarsity MBA debate

The business risks associated with foreign investment, social media and positive discrimination were debated last night (10.11.14) in the NSW Parliament House, by students from MBA courses at the four Sydney Universities. The inaugural intervarsity debate was sponsored by Zurich Insurance Australia.

Sydney University Business School took out the Masters Cup when it went head to head with the team from Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM), arguing the affirmative on the topic, that social media benefits are outweighed by risks to privacy and reputation.

Topics debated in the preliminary rounds were: that deregulation of the foreign investment market is an unacceptable risk to the Australian economy (MGSM and UNSW’s AGSM); and, that positive discrimination should be used to establish gender equality in leadership (Sydney University and UTS Business Schools).

‘Because our industry is all about insuring and mitigating risk, we were very keen to focus the minds of some of the brightest students on debating topical risk issues,’ said Daniel Fogarty, CEO of General Insurance, Zurich Australia.

‘Zurich was delighted to be approached to sponsor this event which we believe will become a proud debating tradition and showcase the talents, and friendly rivalry of Sydney’s business management schools,’ said Fogarty.

The debating competition has been organised by the intervarsity organising committee, a group set up to encourage social engagement between the students of the four management schools.  It was the idea of Sankshep Vashisht, a current student at the AGSM.

‘I always wanted to get into management and entrepreneurship, but my undergraduate mechanical engineering degree didn’t allow for this,’ said Vashisht.

With a friend, he started his own business in India designing loyalty programs for small enterprises, and learnt from his own mistakes about accounting and marketing.  In the end, he decided he needed to get professional qualifications in business.

‘The debate is the first event of the intervarsity organising committee and we plan to hold sporting activities and entrepreneurial events in the new year,’ said Vashisht.

He believes that, as well as bringing students together, the intervarsity MBA debate is set to become a prestigious annual forum for both business students and industry.

As Fogarty says: ‘We look forward to continuing our support of the combined business schools.  The intervarsity debate is a great forum to consider challenging ideas - and have some fun with it!’

Judges for the debate included Melinda Pavey MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health, and Shaun Feely, Chief Operating Officer at Zurich Australia.


For further information contact:

Helen Black
Head of Marketing, Communications & Customer, General Insurance
Zurich Financial Services Australia Limited
Level 3, 5 Blue Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060

Phone: +61 (02) 9995 1368
Email: Helen.black@zurich.com.au

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 55,000 employees, it provides a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products and services. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, including multinational corporations, in more than 170 countries. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at www.zurich.com.