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Universite Laval Wins 10th Annual Rotman International Trading Competition

TORONTO, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A team of students from Universite Laval (Quebec City) won the tenth annual Rotman International Trading Competition (RITC) hosted by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. A team from Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) placed second, while students from the University of Toronto and Baruch College (City University of New York) tied for third place. The BI Norwegian Business School was fifth and LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome placed sixth overall.

More than 240 student traders, 29 faculty advisors and 30 sponsor representatives participated in the event which was held at the Rotman School's Financial Research and Trading Lab from February 21 to 23. The students represented forty-eight universities from Asia, Europe, United States and Canada.

The competition featured six distinct trading cases focusing on a diverse range of securities and markets, including equity shares, options, crude oil physical products and futures contracts, index futures contracts and even high frequency trading implemented by computer algorithms written by the students. Over the three day event, teams were able to demonstrate their ability to understand and successfully execute trading, analyst and risk management strategies on a consistent basis.  Teams were scored over many different iterations of each case, and the final score was comprised of their rankings across all of the cases.

The first place team was comprised of students, Dave Doyon, Jean-Francois Boilard, Pierre-Luc Nadeau, Olivier Tardif-Loiselle, Guillaume Sevigny, Francois Bettez; the team's faculty advisor was Marc-Andre Picard; the second place team included Varorith Chirachon, Luttawit Punjanutbonkot, Pasan Tosiriphatana, Phattradanai Samurwong; their advisor was Suparatana Tanthanongsakkun.

Tied for third place were teams from Baruch College and University of Toronto. Baruch College was comprised of 6 students, Kenneth Chan, Juan Alonso, Shixiang Zhang, Yi Zhang, Andrew Chang and 2 faculty advisors, Eugene Krel and Yike Lu. The University of Toronto team was advised by Richard Gao with students from 3 different programs including: Yiming Chen (Master of Mathematical Finance), Jonathan Dwek (Rotman Master of Finance), Stefan Markovic (Rotman Commerce) and Christopher Xie (Rotman Master of Finance).

In the competition's commodities case, sponsored by BP Canada Energy Company, the top teams were the University of Toronto, LUISS University (Rome) and Universite Laval. Students took on the roles of producer, refiner and traders to transact crude oil and refine it to heating oil and gasoline.  Besides arbitraging across product type, they had to react to news-releases such as storage outages and hedge their risks in futures markets.

The Sales and Trader results were led by the University of Chicago, Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) and Baruch College (CUNY). The sales and trader case was designed to test the competitors ability to transact liability trades and unwind large blocks of shares into a marketplace while judging market impact and other measures of liquidity risk. Traders had multiple marketplaces to transact their shares with different liquidity and cost structures.

The Thomson-Reuters Mergers and Acquisitions case tested competitors' ability to track various 'in-play' M&A deals and devise risk-taking strategies to generate profits. Success in this case depended on teams' skill at assessing potential targets and probabilities of successful M&A deals. The top schools in this case were Chulalongkorn University, Universite Laval, with University of Toronto and University of Calgary tied for third.

The Algorithmic case, sponsored by CIBC, was won by the Chulalongkorn University, followed by LUISS University and Baruch College.  This case required traders to build and execute an algorithm capable of balancing price and liquidity risk, while profiting from the bid-ask spread.

The Quantitative Outcry case, involved trading index futures in response to government macro-economic data releases. This outcry event is truly unique in the competition due to the fact that traders commit their transactions directly with each other through an "outcry pit" designed to be similar to those at various exchanges. The case also featured marks for accuracy of analysts' reports in response to news and for risk management performance. The top teams in this event were Baruch College (New York) and Babson College (Boston).

Finally, the Options trading case required students to use option valuation models to forecast the future volatility of an underlying stock, trading options to benefit from mispricing across strike prices. In this case, the top place was achieved by the University of Waterloo with Universite Laval and Baruch College tied for second.

Competition director, Marco Salerno, who is also manager of the lab at the Rotman School, pointed out that "students are challenged to compete against each other and they work hard to bring their universities as high as possible in the ranking". Rotman Prof. Tom McCurdy, who is the founding Director of the Lab, reports that the "cases were designed to facilitate learning about effective strategies that work for a range of scenarios we could face in an uncertain world. The students' competitive spirit and skilled responses to our case challenges was a joy to experience".

BP Canada Energy Company sponsored the BP Commodities Trading Case, CIBC World Markets sponsored the CIBC Algorithmic Trading Case, and Thomson-Reuters sponsored the Mergers & Acquisitions case. Additional financial support for the competition was also provided by S&P Capital IQ.

The Rotman School's Financial Research and Trading Lab is a fully equipped computer lab designed to promote experiential learning in the area of financial markets and data. 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. Further information on the lab is available at www.rotman.utoronto.ca/finance/lab.

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is redesigning business education for the 21st century with a curriculum based on Integrative Thinking. Located in the world's most diverse city, the Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables the design of creative business solutions. The School is currently raising $200 million to ensure Canada has the world-class business school it deserves. For more information, visit www.rotman.utoronto.ca.

Follow Rotman on Twitter @rotmanschool

Watch Rotman on YouTube www.youtube.com/rotmanschool  

SOURCE Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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