Rising Above the Challenge
Story By: Yasivini Raveendra
Photos By: Moses Koh, Course Manager
Darrell Lim, Toh Qin Yi and Chong Lishi, three alumni students from the Diploma in Banking and Fund Management had no idea that they would come up tops in a global trading challenge.
In the first quarter of 2016 and in their final semester of studies at the School of Business Management (SBM), the trio clinched first place at the CME Group Trading Challenge, beating top universities, such as Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University and Nanyang Technological University.
CME Group's Trading Challenge is a complimentary four-week electronic trading competition where teams of undergraduate and graduate students can trade a variety of CME Group products on a professional real time trading platform.
The final round took place in New York City and it was led by their advisor and lecturer, Mr Anthony Ng.
Together, as Team Alpha, they achieved over 100 per cent in returns, with a final account balance of $500,000.
The runner-up team from Carnegie Mellon University, in the United States, managed a 77 per cent return, with a final stipulated account balance of $443,430.
The team was encouraged to join the competition when Li Shi heard about the competition through the business seminars she used to attend. “We wanted to join the competition for the experience actually,” she recalls.
It was then that the intense preparation and fundamental research started. Before the competition, the trio recalls not facing that many challenges because they did not know what to expect. They were part of the Financial Training Centre, under the Teaching Enterprise Project, where final-year students undergo teaching in a simulated working environment.
“The skills and modules we learnt in the SBM gave us a head start in the competition and really helped us through,” says Darrell of his experience.
When the trading challenge began, the team missed the trial rounds due to their internship commitments. This is where the challenges arose for the three of them as the trial rounds would have taught them how to use the trading platform and get used to trading prior to the actual competition.
Despite their challenges, their lecturer, Mr Ng, never gave up on them and taught them everything he knew. “He is so experienced! I even remember how we were stuck with a problem and within seconds, he solved it on Microsoft Excel! We were so amazed by it,” says Li Shi.