2017 — Michael Acton
Michael won the Nico Colchester fellowship in 2017, and joined the Financial Times’s Brussels office in September. So far he has worked on a variety of subjects including defence and security, EU competition cases, fisheries policy, and EU party funding.
He has an MPhil in international relations and politics from the University of Cambridge, and a BA in History and French from University College London. Prior to joining the FT he worked as a policy analyst for Inline Policy, a political consultancy based in London and Brussels.
2017 — Victoria Jordan
Victoria Jordan won the Nico Colchester fellowship in 2017. During the time of her placement, she was based at The Economist’s London offices. She wrote and contributed to stories on various topics, including failed negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus and Turkey’s extending arm in Europe.
Originally from France, Victoria moved to the UK for her studies and also had the opportunity to study in Germany for a year. She holds a BA in German and history from University College London, and an MPhil in modern European history from the University of Cambridge.
2016 — Susannah Savage
Susannah Savage won the Nico Colchester prize in 2016 and worked in The Economist’s London office. She wrote articles for the United States, International and Europe sections, including one on European integration policies for refugees, for which she went on a reporting trip to Belgium.
Since completing the fellowship, Susannah has continued to write for The Economist, reporting from the Caribbean and islands in the Indian ocean, as well as for other publications, including the Guardian and Al Jazeera. She is also working on her PhD, entering her third year as of September 2017.
Susannah holds an MA from the University of Edinburgh, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and is undertaking a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies.
2016 — Rick Mertens
Rick Mertens won the Nico Colchester prize in 2016. His summer placement in London allowed him to witness the run-up and immediate aftermath of the EU referendum from inside the newsroom of the Financial Times. Rick contributed several dispatches, which reflected the mood around the country during this period.
Amongst others, he reported from the coastal towns of Hastings and Clacton-on-Sea. Shortly after the Brexit vote, Rick wrote a story about a surge in UK nationals applying for citizenship in other EU countries. This piece was cited on Radio 4’s “Today” programme. After two months in London, Rick moved on to the FT’s Brussels bureau, where he contributed further Brexit reporting and also wrote on Belgium’s response to the terrorism threat.
He is now based as a freelance journalist in Berlin and has a particular interest in the social and economic developments in eastern Europe, especially within the Balkan region.
2016 — Sacha Nauta
Sacha Nauta began her fellowship at The Economist writing for the Europe and International sections. Subsequently she became the paper’s Finance correspondent, writing about big institutional investors, real assets and other alternative ways of investing. She developed a weak spot for insurance, including how data and tech are transforming the sector. From Athens she covered the Greek referendum, unfolding crisis and introduction of capital controls. Currently she is based in Amsterdam to take a closer look at cross-European trends in finance, economics and business. From there she has covered the integration of refugees in the labour market, the impact of Brexit on business and recently completed a special report on the global longevity economy.
Previously Sacha worked at the United Nations in New York and at HM Treasury in London, where she focused on public spending and European budget negotiations. Sacha holds an MA/MSc in history of international relations from the LSE.
2015 — Maxime Calligaro
Maxime Calligaro was based in The Economist’s London office. He wrote stories for the print and online editions ranging from the refugee crisis, to the reform of the EU’s architecture, the dysfunctional courts of southern Europe, and the discovery of an Spanish galleon sunk by the British navy in 1708.
After finishing the fellowship he reintegrated the European Parliament where he worked as a political aide. He is now The Economist’s Myanmar correspondent and works as lifestyle editor for the Myanmar Times since May 2017.
2014: Kunal Khatri
Kunal Khatri was based in The Economist’s Brussels office where he contributed to a number of published articles on the business of the EU parliament.
2013 — Andrew Byrne
Andrew Byrne won the Nico Colchester prize in 2013 and began his fellowship at the world news desk in London. He moved to Brussels in December and spent six months at the Financial Times’s Benelux bureau, where he reported on migration policy, airline subsidies and the EU’s response to the war in Ukraine. Since September 2014 he has been the FT correspondent in Budapest, covering south-eastern Europe, including the refugee crisis along the western Balkans route into Europe.
Andrew holds a BA from Trinity College Dublin, an MA from the University of Chicago and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. Previously he worked as a researcher at the Centre for European Policy Studies and the Istituto Affari Internazionali.
2012 — Ines Burckhardt
Ines Burckhardt won the Nico Colchester fellowship in 2012. During her placement at the Financial Times in London, she worked as a researcher for the world news desk and the UK desk. Ines wrote a story about fasting athletes—it became the story most read during the Olympic games. She also reported on renewable energy in Germany, the debate about a ruling on circumcision and on women executives in the UK. She is extremely thankful for the enriching experience at the FT where she became convinced that she should pursue a career in journalism. On completing the fellowship, Ines joined the German public TV and radio as a graduate trainee and now works as a reporter for the German TV and radio on economic and social issues, based in Hamburg.
Ines completed her master’s degree in international economics and South Asian Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins University) in Washington, DC, and holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Konstanz.
2012 — Christopher Croke
Christopher Croke won the Nico Colchester fellowship in 2012 and was based in The Economist’s Paris office over the summer. While there he contributed stories to the print and online editions of The Economist on the rise of Marine Le Pen, the deportation of the Roma, the homeless in Paris, American political divisions and the South African cricket team.
On completing the fellowship, Christopher returned to St John’s College, Oxford where he is currently completing an MPhil in International Relations and working on reappraising patterns of co-operation on refugee issues in South-East Asia. He has continued to produce several freelance articles since leaving Paris.
Christopher holds undergraduate degrees in arts and law from the University of Sydney and has also studied at Sciences Po in Paris. Christopher Croke was based in The Economist’s Paris office over the summer.
2011 — Simon Mee
Simon Mee won the Nico Colchester fellowship in 2011. He worked as a researcher for the world news desk in London, before travelling to the newspaper’s Brussels bureau to report on European affairs. During his time in Brussels, he reported on the euro zone, Belgium, the Schengen accord, and EU sanctions on Libya and Syria, among other topics. In doing so, he achieved over a dozen bylines, including one on the front page of the European edition. The fellowship proved an excellent opportunity to be mentored by some of the leading journalists in the field, including Peter Spiegel, then Brussels bureau chief of the newspaper.
After finishing the fellowship, Simon worked as a financial journalist for Treasury Today magazine. His freelance work has been published in the Financial Times, New Statesman, Irish Times, Sunday Times and the Germany-based Handelsblatt Global.
Simon holds a BA from Trinity College Dublin, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of Oxford—the latter he undertook after his time in journalism. Following the PhD, Simon was awarded a Theodor Heuss fellowship, a joint fellowship between the University of Oxford and Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung. He now works at the European Central Bank.
2011 — Viktoria Dendrinou
Viktoria Dendrinou won the Nico Colchester fellowship in 2011. During her placement she was based at The Economist’s London office. She wrote stories for the print and online editions of the paper on topics ranging from the crisis in Greece, to European visa policies and entrepreneurship in the Baltics.
Highlights included a short trip to Greece, her homeland, to report on the mood of the people during a time of economic and political turmoil. After finishing the fellowship Viktoria went on to work for Reuters in London and the Wall Street Journal in Brussels. She is currently a reporter for Bloomberg in Brussels.
Viktoria holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford and a master’s degree in economics from University College London.
2010 — Sergej Curanović
Sergej Curanović won the Nico Colchester fellowship in 2010. During his placement he was based at the Financial Times’s London office.
He worked at the world news desk, where he was involved with a tentative project focused on a daily news digest of important macroeconomic data and helped prepare the special report on Slovenia.
Since leaving London he has turned his attention to writing fiction and translation. He has an undergraduate degree from the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana and a master’s degree from the Centre for Latin American Studies in Warsaw.
Before the fellowship he worked as a freelance correspondent for the Slovenian daily Dnevnik and as a legal translator with the Court of Justice of the European Union.
2010 — Tim Powdrill
Tim Powdrill won the Nico Colchester fellowship in 2010. He began his placement in The Economist’s London office, before moving to the Berlin bureau, where he contributed stories to the paper’s Europe and International sections on subjects including Berlin’s economy, data protection and measuring corruption. He is an associate director at an intelligence and investigations firm in London.
2009 — Jennifer Thompson
Jennifer Thompson, the winner of the 2009 Nico Colchester fellowship, was born in 1986 in North Tyneside. She read history at Cambridge University before developing an interest in the Middle East through a master’s degree at Durham University and stints living and working in Egypt, Libya and Lebanon.
Jennifer spent the first part of her internship on the world news desk of the Financial Times in London before joining the Paris bureau where she worked on a wide range of pieces covering politics, finance and culture. In particular she enjoyed working on pieces exploring entrepreneurship in France and the writer Albert Camus.
She was accepted on the Financial Times graduate trainee scheme in 2010 and returned to the Paris bureau for her foreign placement. Jennifer then worked in London as the FT’s retail banking correspondent and is currently based in Hong Kong.
2009 — Balint Szlanko
A winner of the 2009 Nico Colchester fellowship, Balint Szlanko spent three months working at The Economist’s London office. Attached to the Europe desk, he mostly wrote stories about central and eastern Europe, but also contributed to the Asia and International sections.
Balint is a former Brussels correspondent for a range of Hungarian newspapers and the author of two books, one about the European Union and one about the Hungarian army. Balint has also been a freelance journalist with a focus on the Middle East and Afghanistan, and a contributor to Transition Online’s New Europe column. He currently works for the Associated Press in Iraq.
2008 — Julie Jammot
Julie, the 2008 winner of the Nico Colchester fellowship, worked for the UK news team and for the international web team of the Financial Times in London, from August to November. She was involved from the outset in the great 2008 financial meltdown, reporting from Lehman Brothers’ London office as the bank folded. Beware of exciting times… Her three months were a succession of intense and adrenaline-fuelled days, as she grappled with the peculiarities of the British political system and discovered how editorial choices directly influence the audience on the web. As one of the youngest winners of the fellowship, she had just a little work experience under her belt before her stint at the FT, in French radio, web and financial press. She had also studied journalism in Germany and worked for a website and a print magazine in Taiwan.
Following her fellowship, Julie moved to AFP, one of the three biggest international news agencies. Initially based in London, she reported from the field on the crisis in Greece and the conflict in Mali. Since 2014 she has been a video co-ordinator for Southern Africa, based in Johannesburg, doing news and features in the region and co-ordinating the freelancers. She will never forget her great days at the FT and the journalists she had the chance to work with.
2008 — Guy Edmunds
Guy Edmunds was one of the 2008 Nico Colchester award winners, and he spent his three months commuting between the London and Brussels offices of The Economist. He published articles in The Economist and European Voice on issues including refugee return, immigration, public apologies, biodiversity and international development.
Before winning the award, for the best part of a decade, Guy had been working as a humanitarian aid-worker around the world. Prior to that, he received degrees from Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard. Although he returned to Georgia to a job in the aid world after the fellowship, he is freelancing as a journalist whenever time and his baby daughter permit.
2007 — Janek Schmidt
Janek Smith was one of the 2007 winners of the Nico Colchester fellowship, and worked for The Economist in London. Originally from Munich, he has a BA from Oxford in philosophy, politics and economics and a MA in international relations from Sciences Po in Paris.
Janek started his career on the graduate scheme of the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The paper granted him three months’ leave to work at The Economist. There he was thrown in at the deep end and asked to write his first piece within less than 24 hours. Over the next three months, he wrote about subjects ranging from intrigue in Bavarian politics to controversies about the construction of mosques around the world. Besides the brilliance of his colleagues and the exciting range of topics that he worked on, he greatly enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere at The Economist.
After his three months in London he returned to Süddeutsche Zeitung taking on a job on the foreign news desk for the next few years. In 2012 he left the paper to concentrate on his own journalistic projects as a freelance journalist in Munich. Today he works both for German publications such as SZ, ZEIT and BR as well as English media such as the Guardian, MONOCLE and the BBC.
2007 — Yee To Wong
Yee To Wong won the Nico Colchester fellowship in 2007 and spent three months at the Financial Times’s London and Paris offices.
During his placement, he rotated through a number of desks, including the leader writers team. While attached to the Paris bureau, he worked on a project to conduct research and collect data for a special series examining private sector restructuring in Europe.
Since leaving the FT, he has gone into banking with Standard Chartered Bank. He has an undergraduate degree in international relations and history and a post-graduate degree in development studies, both from the London School of Economics.
2006 — Mario Pisani
Mario Pisani was one of the 2006 winners of the Nico Colchester fellowship. He spent five months working in the leader writers team at the Financial Times in London. After completing his fellowship, Mario returned to HM Treasury where he took on a range of different roles in economics, policy and communications. As part of this, he worked in the private offices of two Chancellors of the Exchequer (Alistair Darling and George Osborne) and later the private office of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Danny Alexander).
Mario has since become a member of the senior civil service in HM Treasury, as well as a visiting fellow at King’s College London.
2006 — Jennifer Rankin
Jennifer Rankin was one of the 2006 winners of the Nico Colchester fellowship and spent three months in Brussels with The Economist.
After the fellowship, she returned to Brussels and spent almost five years reporting on the EU. Jennifer then went to Moscow as a freelance journalist, later joining the business and economics desk at the Guardian in London. Today, she is the Guardian’s Brussels correspondent.
Jennifer will always be grateful for the award, which launched her career in journalism and kindled an interest in the European Union.
2005 — Chris Smyth
Chris Smyth was one of the 2005 winners of the Nico Colchester fellowship, which he spent with the Financial Times in Brussels. In Brussels, he was sent to cover stories ranging from big steel takeovers to the future of Europe’s canals, as well as filling in for the editor on the Observer column. He hugely enjoyed his time in Brussels, which left him set on a career in journalism.
Chris studied history at Oxford and political thought at Cambridge, eventually doing a PhD in 18th-century intellectual history, which looked at the intersection between science, religion and culture in understanding of phenomena like earthquakes, eclipses and ghosts. Since 2007 he has been at the Times, variously as obituary writer, letters editor, news reporter and now as health editor. In that time he has published a novel and a guide to stopping smoking, without troubling the bestseller lists.
2005 — Andrzej Fister-Stoga
Andrzej Fister-Stoga was one of the winners of the 2005 Nico Colchester fellowship. He spent his internship on the foreign desk of The Economist. Andrzej was born in 1978 in Montreal to Polish and American parents.
He grew up in Poland, spending most of his summers with his family in Japan. He spent his undergraduate years at Bishop’s University in Canada studying philosophy and religion, taking summer courses in England and Japan. He then went on to St Andrews University in Scotland and obtained an MLitt in philosophy, his thesis being on Thomas Aquinas’s take on language and perception. After his studies, Andrzej returned to Poland to teach English to both teenagers and corporate executives. His interest in the changes taking place in Poland, and the more general processes associated with globalisation, led him to write short commentaries for a local newspaper. The Nico Colchester fellowship allowed him to gain valuable hands-on experience in a profession he has decided to pursue.
Andrzej is currently working as a freelance journalist based in Warsaw and also teaches philosophy at a secondary school and university.
2004 — Emilie Filou
Emilie Filou was the winner of the 2004 Nico Colchester Fellowship. She spent her internship at the foreign desk of The Economist.
She now works as a freelance journalist specialising in business and development issues in Africa. Emilie writes for the Guardian, The Economist, Africa Report, Africa in Fact and specialist water magazine Global Water Intelligence. She also does radio pieces for the BBC’s “From Our Own Corrrespondent” and is an author for Lonely Planet, where she has contributed to more than 20 guidebooks on Africa, France and the UK.
2004 — John O’Doherty
John O’Doherty, the 2004 winner of the Nico Colchester fellowship, was born in 1978 in Dublin. He read history and politics at Trinity College Dublin, before embarking on graduate studies in political theory at the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. John spent his Nico Colchester fellowship at the Brussels bureau of the Financial Times, where he was lucky enough to interview a former vice-admiral of the US Navy, the Norwegian ambassador, and then Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler.
John’s articles have also appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune and Canadian daily La Presse. After leaving Brussels, John was accepted on the Financial Times graduate trainee scheme, and studied journalism at City University in London, before a stint in New York, where he wrote the Wall Street report for the paper. He then returned to London as defence industries correspondent. In early 2012, he left the FT and journalism to take a job as a speechwriter at the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen. He remains with the EU and is now working at the European Commission in Brussels.
2003 — John Prideaux
John Prideaux won the Nico Colchester prize in 2003. He spent three months reporting from Brussels for the Financial Times, where he learned from a team of experienced journalists and filed his first stories. Since 2004 he has worked for The Economist. He started as political correspondent, covering Westminster politics. Since then he has spent time in India writing about politics and in London writing about financial markets. He became The Economist’s Brazil correspondent and is now US editor.
John has appeared as a pundit on radio shows in Britain and America, and as a talking head on BBC TV, Sky News, ITV, Fox News and CNBC. He has an undergraduate degree from Cambridge University and a MA from the Sorbonne, where he was an Entente Cordiale scholar.
2002 — Fiona Maharg-Bravo
Fiona Maharg Bravo was the Nico Colchester prizewinner in 2002. She spent her fellowship at the Financial Times as part of the London and world-markets team and then as part of the economics reporting team.
After the FT, Fiona joined breakingviews, the financial commentary service eventually acquired by Reuters, where she covered media, transport, oil and gas, and Spain. In 2007 she moved to Madrid to cover Spanish business and some European sectors for Reuters breakingviews. Fiona was also a regular contributor to The Economist on Spanish business stories. In 2017 she joined Telefónica as director of international and financial media relations.
Fiona studied at the University of Chicago, where she obtained a joint BA/MA in political science and international relations. She was then awarded the Gaylord Donnelley fellowship for a year’s study at Clare College, Cambridge University, where she gained a diploma in economics.
Prior to winning the Nico Colchester fellowship, Fiona worked for JP Morgan and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, both in London.
2001 — Peter Doralt
Peter Doralt, the 2001 winner of the Nico Colchester fellowship, was born in Vienna in 1976. He graduated from the London School of Economics (BSc, management), Ecoles des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (Diplôme HEC, Paris) and Vienna University of Economics and Business (PhD, economics). For his fellowship, Peter worked for The Economist’s Business and Finance sections writing about a wide range of topics, including: management consultants cursed with an overdose of talent; equity underwriting in Europe; German brewers, which are small beer for foreigner invaders; the unquenched thirst of RWE for American water; and Martin Walser, back then a promising German writer aged 74.
Peter joined Financial Times Deutschland in Frankfurt in 2001 to write for Das Kapital, the German equivalent of Lex (the FT’s agenda-setting column on economics, business and finance). In 2003 he moved to work for Lex in London, before being posted to New York in 2005. At Lex he wrote about a variety of topics: technology, telecoms, consumer staples, tobacco, retailing, capital goods, financial services and eastern European bond markets. He was also sneaking gloomy comments into the paper about the deteriorating long-term prospects of the US economy—in the light of mysterious, yet nasty, threats such as adjustable-rate subprime mortgages. In 2007 Peter decided to take a break from journalism and now works on mergers and acquisitions at VERBUND, a leading central European utility. His previous work include stints in corporate-finance advisory with JP Morgan, BNP Paribas and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, and an interlude at private-equity venture Moor Park Capital Partners. Having been sent to Paris in 2009 to help restructure VERBUND’s French activities, he helped prepare the sale of the group’s overseas solar-power plants located in Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion and French Guiana. In 2015 he joined the asset management arm of Deutsche Bank.
2000 — James Politi
James Politi is the Nico Colchester prizewinner for the year 2000. He spent his fellowship at the Financial Times’s London headquarters. During the time of his Nico Colchester fellowship, James was involved in editing, commissioning and writing articles for the four-part special FT series “Europe reinvented”, published on consecutive Fridays beginning on January 19th 2001. He also went to Milan and Rome for three weeks in November 2000, where he reported on Italian finance, industry and the run-up to the EU Nice summit.
James was born in Monza, Italy, of an American mother and an Italian father. He grew up in northern Italy until he moved to New York at the age of 15. He pursued an undergraduate degree in international politics at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC. He moved to London in 1999 in order to specialise in international relations with a master’s degree at the London School of Economics. After the fellowship, James entered the FT’s graduate trainee programme. He worked on the capital-markets and UK companies desks in London, then spent six months in the Washington, DC bureau, before moving to New York in September 2003 to cover mergers and acquisitions. In 2008, James moved to Washington where he covered US economic policy, with a special focus on the US budget, taxes, and trade. He also contributed to general economic and political news, including reporting on the 2012 Republican primaries from Iowa and New Hampshire. He is currently Rome Bureau Chief, writing about Italian politics and economics, as well as the Vatican and the migration crisis.
1999 — Laetitia Puyfaucher
Laetitia Puyfaucher, the 1999 winner of the Nico Colchester fellowship, was born in Paris in 1975. After graduating from Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) she earned a master’s degree in modern literature from Sorbonne University in Paris and a master’s in public management from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).
For her fellowship, Laetitia worked for The Economist’s Business section, where she reported on subjects such as cross-border European mergers, foreign workers in Britain, and the economics of weather forecasts. She also contributed to the Science section.
With John Smutniak, recipient of The Economist’s 1999 Marjorie Deane financial journalism internship, she co-founded WordAppeal Ltd, which produces online corporate communications and other specialist texts, serving clients throughout Europe. Laetitia divides her time between London and Paris.
Her journalism experience includes business reporting at the Vietnam Investment Review in Hanoi, Le Point in Paris and the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong.
Laetitia has travelled widely in Europe and South-East Asia. Her interests include classical piano, riding and thoroughbred racing.
1999 — Florian Gimbel
A winner of the Nico Colchester fellowship in 1999, Florian Gimbel spent three months at the Financial Times’s London office. He worked on the economics and markets desks covering currencies, bonds and equities. He also co-edited the book “Nico Colchester, Making Words Dance”, a collection of Nico’s journalism.
Florian is a speechwriter at the International Monetary Fund, where he works closely with senior staff and management. Previously, he was a Financial Times correspondent in Hong Kong, focusing on the Asian investment industry and regional economic issues. He covered hedge funds, private equity, mutual funds and private banking. Before moving to Asia, he was a reporter for FTfm, the FT’s weekly supplement about the fund management industry, which he co-founded in 2002. He joined the FT in 1999 as a graduate trainee.
Florian is an Austrian citizen who was educated at Harvard University (master’s in public administration), Vienna University of Economics (MBA) and Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in France (joint study programme). He has a keen interest in yoga and loves to dance the waltz during Vienna’s annual ball season.
1997 — Tobias Buck
In 1997 Tobias Buck became the first recipient of a Nico Colchester fellowship, spending three months on the foreign desk at The Economist in London. It was a fascinating, enriching experience—and tremendous fun. More important, the fellowship opened the door to a career in journalism that hehas pursued with enthusiasm and joy ever since.
Tobias is now the Financial Times correspondent in Berlin, a post he took up in August 2017. He was previously correspondent in Madrid, Jerusalem and Brussels, covering events and themes such as the euro-zone debt crisis, the Catalan independence campaign, the Arab spring, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and European trade and competition policy.
He started his career in journalism as graduate trainee at the FT in 2002. Tobias is the recipient of several journalism prizes, including a Harold Wincott award and a British Press award. In 2016 he was named foreign correspondent of the year by Spain’s international press club.
Tobias graduated in 2001 from Humboldt University in Berlin, where he read law.