Students of Heriot-Watt's School of Social Sciences Accountancy, Finance and Economics programmes are soon to have their learning experience enhanced with the opening of Scotland's latest Bloomberg Trading Simulation room. Championed by the department's Deputy Head, Associate Professor of Finance Dr. Mo Sherif, the Trading Room will allow students to put theory into practice in real-time environment.
Bloomberg is widely acknowledged as the largest interactive trading platform available in the market and is used by the majority of prominent global finance companies. Using the platform will therefore replicate the Bloomberg trading rooms of financiers worldwide.
Students will work with a simulated market environment using actual, real-time data, and a variety of functions simulating both trading and non-trading workflows. With these state-of-the-art tools, our students will enrich their research and classwork, with hands-on knowledge of analysing financial markets, assessing economic scenarios and interpreting key news developments that impact the global economy.
Intertwining practical training of portfolio building with the theoretical knowledge will strengthen students' capabilities. Having used Bloomberg Terminal during my career in the industry, I would say the opportunity for students to train using such a state-of-the-art system is indeed a superior advantage. The system is designed to allow users to analyse the financial markets from various dimensions. For students aspiring to be in the financial services career, what's better than having a hands-on experience on THE system! Likewise, for financial and economic researchers, what could be better than a direct access to real-time data at your fingertips!
Plans are also afoot to make the room available to our Undergraduate programmes and to invite Scottish high school pupils for practical demonstrations. This will provide them with an early insight of their potential choices of education and career in their future. 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 publicly listed and private companies worldwide, 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.
One of the key solutions the terminal will provide is accurate up-to-date information for equities we conduct research and publish a report on for consideration into our investment fund. The terminal would be an essential pillar of support for and would add a layer of robustness to our investment process at AIC.
We are also delighted to be creating 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 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. The practical experience will also build a strong career base for them, should they intend to venture into a financial services career.
“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, and this experience will give them a competitive edge for a career in the financial services.”
Thanks to Takhmina Zharullayeva; Msc International Accounting and Finance, Nivedita(Nivi) MSc Investment Management, Leonardo Keerl MSc Finance and Management, Nazgul Suieumaganbetova MSc Finance and Management, Gabriel MJ Nyanti MSc International Accounting and Finance, for joining us in launching this room.