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Tough Traders: MBAs Fight For International Trading Competition Win, Toronto

MBAs from across the globe flocked to Rotman School of Management to take part in a financial trading competition. The school has just opened a new financial research and trading lab.

By  Seb Murray

Mon Mar 3 2014

Rotman School of Management cemented its place as a financial and trading hub last month when students from over 45 institutions across the world flocked to their Toronto campus for a trading competition.

Fifty-two teams, including 281 student traders, analysts and risk managers representing forty-seven different universities across Canada, the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia participated in the 11th annual Rotman International Trading Competition.

The competition follows last fall’s opening of the BMO Financial Group Finance Research and Trading Lab, Rotman’s new state-of-the-art financial centre, which will allow MBA, EMBA Masters and other students to get hands-on training in financial disciplines.

Finance is one of the most popular career functions and the business school’s new generation of finance-focused MBAs will no doubt give their careers a kick.

Students from the Canadian-based business school will benefit from investment strategy, portfolio management, risk management, trading and financial analysis training.

The lab is an extension of the school’s new classroom area, which opened last year, that doubles the amount of teaching and research space students can enjoy, and is designed to promote experiential learning in the area of financial markets and data.

Last month’s Rotman International Trading Competition (RITC) utilized simulated trading cases that closely mimic different aspects of real world markets – including those for commodities, fixed income and options – as well as strategies such as algorithmic market making.

The competition cases are implemented over the highly acclaimed Rotman Interactive Trader application, a market simulation tool being used in over 40 universities and money management firms around the world.

When the dust settled after six rounds of intense trading, two teams representing LUISS University in Italy and Université Laval in Canada tied for first overall in the competition.

A team of Master of Financial Engineering students from the University of California Berkeley placed third while a team of Master of Financial Engineering students from Baruch College placed fourth.

A team of Bachelor of Commerce students from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary placed fifth.

The University of Toronto team included: Wilson Chen, a Commerce student at the University of Toronto Mississauga; Leo Guo from Engineering Science; David Hung and Iffat Kashif who are Rotman Master of Finance students; and Bowen Xue and Kevin Yang who are both students in the Rotman Commerce program. The team finished in the top-ten in what proved to be a very competitive field.

BP Energy Company was the sponsor of the BP Commodities Trading Case, and CIBC World Markets was the sponsor of the CIBC Yield Curve Trading Case. Additional financial support for the competition was provided by Thomson Reuters, Capital IQ and CFA Society Toronto.

Marco Salerno, manager of the school’s BMO Financial Group Finance Research and Trading Lab, praised the all the teams’ impressive performances in the financial competition. “Congratulations to all of the teams for their excellent preparation, enthusiastic participation and exemplary performance,” he said.

Prof. Tom McCurdy, who is the Bonham Chair in International Finance and Founding Director of the Lab, agreed. “The participants demonstrated their skills making real-time decisions to manage risks and opportunities associated with complex issues in financial markets,” he added.  

For more information, visit: http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca