Bloomberg Trading Room: A Sound Investment for Heriot-Watt Students



Students of Heriot-Watt's School of Social Sciences Accountancy, Finance and Economics programmes will soon have their learning experience enhanced with the opening of Scotland's first Bloomberg Trading Simulation room. Championed by the department's Deputy Head, Associate Professor of Finance Mo Sherif; the Trading Room will allow students to put theory into practice in real-time.

The School has purchased a Bloomberg license for the simulation - giving access to the largest interactive trading platform available and is used by the majority of global finance companies. This platform will therefore replicate the Bloomberg trading rooms of financiers in The City of London. Students will work with a simulated market environment using relevant, real-time data, and a variety of functions simulating both trading and non-trading workflows. With these tools, our students will enrich their research and classwork, while learning how to analyse financial markets, assess economic scenarios and interpret key news developments that impact the global economy.

Plans are also afoot to make the room available to our Undergraduate programmes and to invite Scottish high school pupils for practical demonstrations. The trading room may also offer potential to our Business MSc students, given Bloomberg's role as a news distributor – featuring live news feeds as it breaks. The School will have access to coverage from over 30,000 aggregated news sources from 150 bureaus in 72 countries. In addition, the feature provides more than 5,000 original news stories each day.

More widely, the School will gain valuable data for its research as the data provided by Bloomberg is live and features private and international companies, alongside companies that are bankrupt, in default or no longer public in its data pool; providing a unique perspective on decision-making in uncertain environments.

This experience will give Heriot-Watt students a competitive edge for a career in the financial services.

Dr Mohamed Sherif

We are also delighted to announce plans to introduce a School of Social Sciences Managed Fund (SSMF). Wholly student-managed, but with oversight of our academic experts, the investment fund will enable our students to make real-life investment decisions. Students will apply to become real-life roles such as 'Fund Manager' or 'Fund Analyst' to run and manage the fund. Students will aim to generate positive returns through managing their stocks using qualitative and quantitative fundamental analysis in real-time on the Bloomberg simulator. Money raised will be reinvested into the School and our academic experts will manage risk through diversification and stringent fund management rules and procedures. The School aims to use the SSMF to enhance the experience of the Trading Room by providing a safe opportunity for students to take calculated risks and interact positively with a trading space.

Introducing the Trading Room has immense potential for the School and its students. Dr Sherif commented: “Our Bloomberg Trading Room is going to be brilliant. We will be able to show and not just tell; it will give us as lecturers the opportunity to bring our textbook theory to life! Moreover, we will be able to provide our excellent students a safe environment to take risks and grow their confidence."

The AEF department was ranked No1 in Scotland to study Economics, Accounting and Finance by the Guardian University League tables in 2018, rankings such as these recognise and award excellence in teaching, prospects and facilities; having a Bloomberg Trading Room will give students yet another unique experience over and above the top-ranked teaching they already receive.