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Belong, Believe, Achieve: UEL student financial trading team wins third place in national competition

Economics student Manvir Brar and his teammates show off their skills 

'Belong, Believe, Achieve' is a series of profiles showcasing inspiring students and staff at the University of East London (UEL). Each week, we bring you a new story about someone achieving great things in our amazing community.

Students come to the University of East London (UEL) to unlock their potential and pursue degrees that are relevant to the world of work. Sometimes, their hard work results in an award or two along the way.

UEL Finance and Economics students recently accomplished just that, taking third place in a prestigious national financial trading competition.

Manvir Brar and his classmates Christopher Smith and Yannick Capote impressed judges with their financial acumen at the University Trading Challenge in London, where they put their skills to the test against 13 other teams in late February.

Manvir, a final year BSc (Hons) Economics student, said the day was both challenging and rewarding.

He said, “The presentation part was the hardest, as we had really short notice and lots to prepare for, and the judging panel included an expert from the Society of Technical Analysts and a former currency manager from Goldman Sachs.”

But their strategy went down well with the panel, and the team expertly handled a Q&A session.

The aim of the competition, held annually now for eight years, is to give students an opportunity to experience the real world challenges and opportunities faced by those working in financial trading, and demonstrate their ability to analyse, develop strategies under pressure and make decisions.

Students from around the UK are put through their paces in a series of rounds which include challenges involving the foreign exchange market, portfolios, treasury and investment banking.

Manvir said that a simulated trading activity was the portion of the competition he most enjoyed. His team was asked to use financial news to come up with a plan for a financial portfolio that would make a profit in six months.

The UEL students received a certificate and a team trophy to share. It will be displayed in the UEL trophy cabinet at the University Square Stratford campus.

The team also won a training package for financial professionals, worth just over £2,000.

Manvir, who is planning to pursue postgraduate study or a graduate role in risk, said, “I’ll definitely be making use of the training, which includes investment banking training which is given to bankers.

“The other training is around blockchain, which is the software needed to create cryptocurrencies, which I think is the future of digital transactions.”

The team’s lecturer and mentor, Dr Ejike Udeogu, said he was very proud of the team.

Dr Udeogu said, “It’s important that our students get to put their skills and knowledge to the test in real-world situations like competitions and work experience, so that they’re better prepared when it comes to job interviews and getting into their chosen career.”

The competition is sponsored by The Blockchain Academy, Society of Technical Analysts and CapitalWave Inc, and hosted at the Cass Business School, part of City, University of London