- 1. Patrick Kaminski
- 2. Nhung Vu
- 3. Dmitry Shorikov
- 4. Daniel Shannon
- 5. Roma Stepanchenko
- 6. *Tie* Carson Luo / Daniel Kirshner
- Social Outcry: William Amoi
- Liability Trading: Patrick Kaminski
- Options: Tsoi Yuen (Jack) Lau
- Equity Valuation: David Wilkie
- ETF Pricing Arbitrage: Patrick Kaminski
- Algorithmic Market Making: Tsoi Yuen (Jack) Lau
The 4th semi-annual Telfer Trading Competition (TTC) was a considerable success here at the Telfer School of Management with over 100 students registered. Held on October 17th 2015, students were given a chance to show off their trading savvy, competing against each other for standings, cash prizes and a chance to compete in the prestigious Rotman International Trading Competition (RITC). The Telfer Trading Competition is hosted twice a year in preparation for the RTIC, which the University of Ottawa plans to send some of its brightest students to compete on an international stage. Hosted in Toronto, the RITC will pit some of the top business schools from around the globe against one another, and the Telfer School of Management hopes to display its caliber.
Beginning at noon on the 17th, the Telfer Trading Competition was launched with the students gathering in one of Telfer’s largest conference rooms located in the Desmarais building where the first case was set to begin. Upon arrival they were greeted, each receiving their own nametag and given an introduction to the competition. Soon afterwards, it was straight to the first case, the social outcry. Gathered in the Camille Villeneuve Conference room, the students we given a single index, the TELFER-500, which they could attempt to buy or sell at any price they chose, provided they could find another competitor who was willing to buy or sell it to them at the price they were offering. The index’s price was driven by the release of multiple news events throughout the case, which were projected on multiple large screens around the room. This gave insight to the competitors about the possible direction of the TELFER-500 price movement. Additionally, there was no electronic assistance in their transactions, so competitors we required to go about the group searching and competing for each other’s orders in almost all ways possible creating a very vibrant and dynamic trading pit setting à la 1980’s. The social outcry was a means to simulate the first markets, which existed prior to the largely electronic ones that are found today giving the students a fundamental understanding of the transaction and supply and demand process that drives the value of markets around the globe on a daily basis. Next the students transitioned to the Financial Research and Learning Lab to begin the core cases of the competition. There were four cases to compete in consisting of Liability Trading, Options, Equity Valuation, ETF Pricing Arbitrage and a bonus Algorithmic Market Making for those competitors really trying to display their trading prowess.
The students competed in these cases using the Rotman Interactive Trader, an order-driven market system which they had been practicing and preparing vigorously for the weeks leading up to the competition date. Each case was run one at a time, with individual cases being run three times with a few minutes in between each round allowing students to collect themselves, and make any adjustments needed to their strategies before the next round. From the start of the first case, the room was abuzz with the furious input of orders and the emotion that came with the rapid execution of each transaction. Each moment was different from the last as one second traders would be celebrating soaring profits and the next rushing to recover losses. The leaders of each case were being projected on large screens so that competitors were always aware of their performance relative to their peers. Each case was constructed unique and throughout each of the remaining cases, a variety of creative strategies were employed to maximize their capital gains, from the clicking intensive ladder trader to script filled excel run algorithms. Similarly, as the competition progressed from one case to the next, so did the emotions of the competitors. At any given moment the uproar from a sudden market spike or the groans as prices would barely budge could be heard from across the room recreating the dynamic environment of a trading floor.
Students were given an extended break halfway through to recuperate before the continuation of the cases. At the end of the last case, the competitors gathered in the conference room one last time for food and drinks as well as the announcement of the case and overall winners. Over $900 worth of prizes were distributed amongst the best performers with prizes going to individual case winners as well as overall standings. The overall top 12 performers were given a chance to apply for the Rotman International Trading competition in hopes of representing the University of Ottawa on the international stage.
The 4th semi-annual Telfer Trading Competition was the largest to date and was a massive success, giving students of all years a chance to dive deeper into the financial industry, whom many are so passionate about. From the hustle of the social outcry to the technical expertise of the algorithmic trading, students had the opportunity to learn and grow in various skills as they provided simple solutions to complex financial problems and adapted on the fly throughout this dynamic environment. A huge thank you also goes out to the Finance Society, University of Ottawa Student Investment Club (OSIC) and all of the volunteers that helped throughout the planning and preparation as well as the execution of this event, as this event would not be made possible without them. We also welcomed a visit from Alumni Alex Tyutyunnik, Brian Chan and Cassy Aite who had a big part in growing the competition to what it is today. As we closed out this iteration of the TTC, we look forward to both the Rotman International Trading Competition as well as the next semi-annual Telfer Trading Competition in early 2016.