Posted March 14th, 2016
MFE Team members (left to right): Hexuan Zhu, Zhe Lu, Huichao Ye, Tinghao Li, Shu Ye, Zhengbin Yang
NYU Tandon's Master of Financial Engineering (MFE) team placed 8th in the annual Rotman International Trading Competition, the most important international applied finance competition. The event took place from February 19-20 at the University of Toronto and involved the participation of over 52 student teams from around the world. NYU MFE team leader Tinghao Li commented: “Last year, our team, also led by me, took part in this competition for the first time in the history of our program and finished with 33/50. However, this year, with every effort we have...we ranked 8 out of 52 teams. It is really a great achievement!”
The competition is an annual event open to student teams from universities across the world, allowing students to participate in a diverse range of events such as electronic and outcry trading crises, seminars with industrial representatives, and social and networking events. The event is a great way for students to get valuable experience about the workings of the financial sector and to meet industry leaders and like-minded students from all over the world.
The team was made up of six NYU Tandon graduate students Zhe Lu, Huichao Ye, Shu Ye, Zhengbin Yan, Hexuan Zhu, and captain Li, all hailing from China. Bringing a diverse set of knowledge to the competition because of their different undergraduate backgrounds in finance, math, and engineering—the team spent three months preparing for the competition.
Teams were judged on six categories: Sales and Trading, BP Commodities, S&P Capital IQ, Credit Risk, MathWorks Algo, and Quantitative Outcry. Each category involves two or three cases, with each case consisting of four sections that take approximately 15 minutes each. The NYU MFE team placed 5th in the BP Commodities category, where team members play different roles in the oil trading process, from production and refining to the market. The members must communicate with each other constantly and use teamwork to make crucial decisions. “BP Commodities, the most complex category, was actually our strongest one,” commented team member Hexuan Zhu. The team also placed 7th in the S&P Capital IQ category.
Commenting on the competition, Zhu added, “If you want to be working in the markets, trading is a necessary skill on top of the math that you learn. It’s all about formulating a strategy in the preparation and execution, you can’t be concerned with other teams once the competition has begun.”
“It was a very good experience, you get a lot of ideas regarding trade,” claimed team captain Li, who believes his team members were extraordinarily consistent and “followed the pre-designed strategy” without being lured by “break-the-bank” strategies. When asked about how it felt to place in the top 10, Li added, “It was really great, it was a really big accomplishment that we weren’t fully expecting but felt afterwards that we definitely deserved it.”
A record number of teams participated in the competition this year, including US-based MFE/Math Finance programs: Carnegie Mellon (11), UC Berkeley (12), UChicago (17), Columbia (19), Rutgers (33), Princeton (39), Boston University (43), as well as undergraduate teams from MIT (10), Dartmouth (21), and Duke (32), among others. The NYU MFE team only trailed behind the Baruch MFE program, the winners of the competition.
The NYU MFE team will be giving a talk on their experience and the different aspects of the competition on Thursday, March 24 in LC400.