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Massey University has opened the country’s first university trading room at its Albany campus on Auckland’s North Shore – and NZX chief executive Tim Bennett has given the facility the thumbs up.
The Massey University Trading Room contains Bloomberg financial terminals, a live stock price ticker and information and news screens. It gives finance students real-life fund management experience.
After visiting the facility Mr Bennett said the Trading Room was “a great addition to a lovely campus” and that Massey’s would-be fund managers were fortunate to have access to such state-of-the-art equipment.
For project manager Associate Professor Russell Gregory-Allen the initiative has been seven years in the making.
“This is something I’ve wanted to make happen since joining Massey. The university already has New Zealand’s only student-managed investment fund, now students have a state-of-the-art facility in which to do their work and research,” he says.
The first groups of finance students are already going through the process of gaining their Bloomberg Essentials certification and are also using the facility for research projects, including stock report assignments.
“To have access to the Bloomberg terminals and all the data they contain is really incredible,” says finance student Scott Gardner.
“We can look up every single index, virtually every single stock in the world, and the information is being updated in real-time. Having access to all this information has really changed my thinking and the way I approach my studies.”
Dr Gregory-Allen says the Trading Room provides students with an innovative learning environment where they can experience “those information sources that they are going to be using wherever they go, anywhere in the world”.
Student Pierre Burgers agrees: “The university is making us more marketable – this is something I can put on my CV to say, ‘I can already work on a Bloomberg terminal, I’m already used to working with all these tools and data.’”
The Trading Room is just the first phase of Dr Gregory-Allen’s vision for an integrated finance research facility at Massey. There are plans for a Trading Room that contains more terminals, and with access not only to Bloomberg data, but also data from Factset, Reuters Eikon and Capital IQ. The planned facility will include a market simulation lab where researchers can run trading and market interaction experiments.
Dr Gregory-Allen is also seeking a $1 million endowment to go into the student investment fund, which will then be able to produce income for research grants and student scholarships into the future. Since its inception in 1996 the student investment fund has performed well against the NZX50.
Postgraduate student Daniel Feller, who is part of Massey’s student fund management team, says working with a larger fund is an exciting prospect.
“Currently we manage about $28,000 and it’s great to have that, but if we got up to $1 million, that would be a real point of difference for the university and us as students,” he says. “We’d be able to go into the workforce and say ‘I was a fund manager for a million-dollar fund…actually making real-world decisions for a significant amount of money’. That would mean a lot to all of us.”
View the Trading Room video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITeBekniwFA
Created: 04/10/2013 | Last updated: 30/01/2015
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