Bayes students beat the markets in Bloomberg Global Trading Challenge

Business School teams finish inside the world’s top ten in annual trade simulation challenge.

Two teams from Bayes Business School have earned final positions in the top ten of Bloomberg’s Global Trading Challenge.

The annual competition, designed to bridge the gap between theory and real-world investing, gives small teams of students from all over the world a virtual $1 million to invest in stocks from the Bloomberg World Large, Mid & Small Cap Price Return (WLS) Index across a five-week period. The aim of the competition is to achieve the highest relative profit and loss (P&L) to the Index.

Five teams from Bayes, including a mix of both undergraduate and postgraduate students, quickly rose up the global leaderboard.

‘Dalal Street Bulls’, captained by Sarthak Bidani CMT CFTe (MSc Investment Management) along with Siddhant Dalmia (MSc Corporate Finance), Gaurav Kapoor (MSc Finance) and Nikita Sahani (MSc Corporate Finance) even rose to top spot out of 948 teams in the penultimate week of trading before finishing in second place with a relative P&L of more than $300,000. The team did, however, finish with the highest absolute profit in the world, with $407,177.

Joining them in the world’s top ten were ‘Introduction to Cook Coding’, who achieved sixth spot globally and third in Europe, while another Bayes team, ‘S E Investments’, finished eighth in the continent.

Sarthak said the competition had built upon his previous experience of trading and allowed him to go further out of his comfort zone.

“When I first heard about the competition from a friend, I wanted to get involved because of its global nature,” he said.

“Since the rules were quite different from how I traded professionally, I took it up as a personal challenge to get out of my comfort zone and expose myself to equity markets beyond India.

“I learned that markets across the globe behave in largely the same way, and the experience reinforced my conviction that regardless of the country or economic condition, people react similarly to the changes in stock prices.”

Sarthak Bidani in the Bloomberg Trading Room at Bayes Business School

Sarthak’s personal highlight was achieving returns of more than 100 per cent on four stock investments. He hopes to move into a career in market trading after graduation, and said the experience, coupled with studies at Bayes, has further whet his appetite for career success.

“My ‘Quantitative Methods for Investment Management’ module at Bayes has taught me about volatility and correlations, which we were able to use to help make smart low-risk, high-return bets,” he continued.

“Having access to the Bloomberg Terminal and its exclusive economic data will in turn help us in our studies over the next few months, as knowing how to use the Software will make us more efficient with our course projects.

“My aspiration is to work as a professional trader for a hedge fund. The returns and absolute profits we achieved in such a short space of time in markets I have never traded in before has boosted my confidence and motivation towards this.”

Elena Kastellanou (MSc Shipping, Trade and Finance) was the team captain of S E Investments, alongside Srinivasan P S (MSc Shipping Trade and Finance), Hannah Hobcraft (MSc Energy, Trade and Finance), Aglaia Kanellou (MSc Shipping, Trade and Finance) and Aydan Babayeva (MSc Energy, Trade and Finance).

Elena said she was keen to transfer newly acquired knowledge from her degree into practice for the first time.

“When my team registered for the competition none of us had any particular trading experience,” she said.

“Our Principles of Finance module at Bayes has taught us about stock valuation and other important financial topics, and we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to apply knowledge and gain new skills to help us become better traders. At the same time, it was great to familiarise ourselves with the Bloomberg terminal.

“Throughout the competition we met each week to discuss the latest global news and events, and how we could adapt our strategy accordingly. By doing this, we increased our commercial awareness while simultaneously acquiring analytical and research skills.”

Elena added that the practical skills and knowledge her team had gained would enhance their career options.

“This was the first group project that we’ve had in our short time at Bayes, and we are now even better prepared for future coursework on our programme,” she continued.

“The lessons we have acquired about how capital markets work will be really useful for all of us. Some of us are interested in shipping finance and others are interested in trading, but we are all feeling more confident in our abilities now.

“The experience has certainly encouraged us to trade outside of the competition.”

Elena Kastellanou and her team around a screen in the Bloomberg Trading Room at Bayes Business School

Dr Sonia Falconieri, Course Director of the MSc Finance programme at Bayes and faculty advisor for Sarthak’s team, praised the students’ outstanding success.

“The achievements of all our teams in the competition this year to finish so high up the world league table has been really impressive,” she said.

“The high level of application and expertise shown by students under pressure to predict and react to shocks – especially during a time of immense market turbulence and Federal Reserve inventions – demonstrates excellent potential for future careers in finance. In fact, some of the profits returned against Bloomberg’s index would not have looked out of place with leading stock brokers.

“One of our key aims at Bayes is to encourage students to apply theory in the real world, and the trading challenge presents an excellent exercise in navigating the cut-throat world of market trading.

“My warmest congratulations go to all of the teams and students involved."

Read about the MSc Investment Management Programme at Bayes Business School.

Read about the MSc Shipping, Trade and Finance Programme at Bayes Business School.

Find out more about the BSc Finance programme at Bayes Business School.