Alliance MBS PhD student Nestor Romero, who passed away last year, is to be awarded a posthumous degree from The University of Manchester.
Father-of-two Nestor, who was from Chile, first joined AMBS as a student on the MSc in Quantitative Finance in 2011 and then returned to study for a PhD in Finance in 2016.
He was an outstanding PhD researcher and ambassador of the AMBS PhD programme, as well as a highly regarded teaching assistant in both AMBS and the School of Social Sciences which was acknowledged through a teaching excellence award.
He also provided much valued contributions to the Accounting and Finance division seminar series, and more widely to the School’s research environment.
Nestor’s widow Patricia said she and their children Ignacio and Nicolas were incredibly proud that Nestor was being remembered with the degree.
“Nestor’s dream was always to come to the UK and be a PhD student and his whole family are so proud of what he achieved. My message to every student is always enjoy every moment of the fantastic opportunity that going to university gives you. If you have made it to university then it must be because you are brilliant at what you do, and you are being given the opportunity to not only advance your own learning and career but make a contribution to the wider world too.
“But you must also always remember to listen to yourself and ask for help if you ever feel you need it. You cannot do everything alone in life, and it is good to ask for help because that makes you a stronger person.”
Former PGR colleague Adnan Gazi said Nestor was a natural leader among the cohort. “As fellow dads in our cohort we quickly became close friends. Nestor always stood beside his colleagues and friends and among us he was the most charismatic one in terms of personality and leadership, and a natural choice to be our cohort representative. If we had any issue we just talked with him, and we were very comfortable sharing our views and ideas with him.
“He was someone really great to chat with because of his knowledge, intelligence, laughter, jokes and witty remarks. Nestor was always a breath of fresh air and always there to cheer you up. He was truly a dynamic and a promising researcher and on behalf of all my fellow students we are really grateful to him. He was a very good friend and we will always remember him.”
Nestor’s thesis consisted of three papers. The first examined the role of financial development in explaining the effect of cross-border bank flow shocks on house prices, while the second examined how flows impact the access to capital and the financing decision of UK firms. His final paper examined the syndicated loans market, documenting increased synchronicity in the market.
His examination report cited that the candidate had “crafted an interesting, thoughtful, and rigorous thesis, and that the research yields meaningful contributions and contains insights of genuine practical importance”.
Professor Marie Dutordoir, divisional head of Accounting and Finance at AMBS during Nestor’s PhD studies, said: “It was always a joy to meet Nestor in the corridor. He had such a warm smile and genuinely seemed interested in how colleagues were doing. He was a very active contributor to our divisional seminars, often asking very good and difficult questions. He was also an excellent researcher, being curious, fast and creative. He still leaves a huge gap in our A&F community and we dearly miss him.”
Professor Anne McBride, PGR Director at AMBS during Nestor’s studies, added: “Nestor took his role as PGR representative very seriously and we all gained from his presence and comments. It is most fitting that his work is being recognised in this way and I look forward to the day when Nestor’s family can finally travel to Manchester to receive this award and see how much he meant to us all.”
Helen McManamon, Doctoral Programmes Manager at AMBS, added: “Nestor was a real ambassador for both the PhD programme and for AMBS and the University. He was a bright, professional, thoughtful man who would always take the time to ask how friends and colleagues were, and was always the first to offer help in any way possible.”
The posthumous award will be formally presented when Patricia and Nestor’s family are able to attend a graduation ceremony in person.