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Ulster University Business School students pursuing an MSc in Applied Finance put their academic learning to the test recently resulting in a profit of almost £500k in only seven weeks.

Finance lecturer Paul Stewart explains

The students were organised in teams of two or three, all completing coursework taken in the Financial Markets, Investments and Operations Module.  Their challenge was to develop a trading and investment strategy with a virtual £10m per team which they managed over a seven week period.  All of the student’s trades were in ‘real-time’ at actual market prices, using a market trading simulation available through the Bloomberg suite in the University’s CME Financial Innovation Laboratory.  At the conclusion of the seven week trading period, the students had collectively made an investment return of £498,971 (1.67%) with the best individual team turning in an impressive 2.69% return for the short trading window available to them.

Five employers, Cunningham Coates Stockbrokers, Investec Wealth & Investment, Quilter Cheviot, Danske Bank and Brewin Dolphin along with The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) helped develop the coursework, facilitated student mentoring by their staff members and sponsored a prize for the best performing trading team.

The winners of the CISI NI Investment Student of the Year award – Philip Moore and James Drumm – were presented with their prizes at the Northern Ireland CISI Annual Dinner held on February 2nd 2017 in the Waterfront Hall.

Speaking at the awards presentation, CISI (NI) President, Chris Taggart, who is also an investment manager in Quilter Cheviot said

The enthusiasm the students have for investing is a credit to them – all the more so given that a number of the students come from a non-financial undergraduate background.  Despite the very short trading period, the development of investment strategy was evident and the quality of the submitted portfolios was noteworthy.

Finance lecturer Paul Stewart said

The enthusiasm which the students have for this work is always very gratifying to witness. As always, I couldn’t be more grateful for the support of our sponsors in this exercise – from the establishment of the prize to the mentoring of students – it really is an invaluable experience for the students. I have no doubt it will be a tremendous benefit to these students as they seek to develop their careers after university.