Media Releases

Baruch College wins 9th annual Rotman International Trading Competition

February 27, 2012

Toron­to — A team of stu­dents from Baruch Col­lege (City Uni­ver­si­ty of New York) won the ninth annu­al Rot­man Inter­na­tion­al Trad­ing Com­pe­ti­tion (RITC) host­ed by the Rot­man School of Man­age­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. A team from LUISS Gui­do Car­li Uni­ver­si­ty of Rome placed sec­ond, while stu­dents from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go placed third.

The first place team was com­prised of stu­dents Alex­ei Mikhailovich Smirnov, Gama Paul-Emmanuel Le Boud­er, Jing Chen, and Yike Lu, the team’s fac­ul­ty advi­sor was Pro­fes­sor Rados Radoicic; the sec­ond place team includ­ed Aldo Bal­lar­i­ni, Alessan­dro D’A­tri, Mar­co Saler­no, and Maria Pao­la Satol­li, their advi­sor was Pro­fes­sor Emilio Barone. Chicago’s team was advised by Pro­fes­sor Roger Lee with team mem­bers Navreet Gill, Jun Liu, Yix­ing Zhang, and Yun­yu Zhao.  This is Paul-Emmanuel’s third con­sec­u­tive first place fin­ish, hav­ing won in the two pre­vi­ous com­pe­ti­tions while rep­re­sent­ing Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy.

More than 240 stu­dent traders, 28 fac­ul­ty advi­sors and 27 spon­sor rep­re­sen­ta­tives par­tic­i­pat­ed in the event. The stu­dents rep­re­sent­ed forty-four uni­ver­si­ties from Aus­tralia, Thai­land, Europe, Unit­ed King­dom, Ire­land, Unit­ed States and Cana­da.

The com­pe­ti­tion fea­tured six dis­tinct trad­ing cas­es focus­ing on a diverse range of secu­ri­ties and mar­kets, includ­ing equi­ty shares, options, crude oil phys­i­cal prod­ucts and futures con­tracts, index futures con­tracts and even high fre­quen­cy trad­ing imple­ment­ed by com­put­er algo­rithms writ­ten by the stu­dents. Over the three day event, teams were able to demon­strate their abil­i­ty to under­stand and suc­cess­ful­ly exe­cute trad­ing strate­gies on a con­sis­tent basis.  Teams are scored over many dif­fer­ent iter­a­tions of each case, and the final score is com­prised of their rank­ings across all of the cas­es.

In the competition’s com­modi­ties case, spon­sored by BP Cana­da Ener­gy Com­pa­ny, the top teams were the Uni­ver­si­ty of Water­loo, LUISS (Rome),  Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go and Baruch Col­lege.  This trad­ing sce­nario required stu­dents to trans­act crude oil, trans­port it by pipeline or ship and refine the crude into heat­ing oil and gaso­line.  Besides arbi­trag­ing across loca­tion and prod­uct type, they had to react to news-releas­es such as pipeline out­ages and weath­er events and hedge their risks in futures mar­kets.

The Sales and Trad­er results were led by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go, North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty, Laval Uni­ver­si­ty and HEC Mon­tre­al.  The sales and trad­er case was designed to test the com­peti­tors abil­i­ty to trans­act lia­bil­i­ty trades and unwind large blocks of shares into a mar­ket­place while judg­ing mar­ket impact.  Traders had mul­ti­ple mar­ket­places to trans­act their shares with dif­fer­ent liq­uid­i­ty and cost struc­tures.

The Thom­son Reuters Quan­ti­ta­tive and Event Dri­ven trad­ing case allowed stu­dents to ana­lyze a machine-read­able news data­base and pre­dict future stock move­ments based on Thomson’s pro­pri­etary news data­base.  The top schools were, respec­tive­ly, Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go, Baruch Col­lege, and North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty.

The Algo­rith­mic case, spon­sored by CIBC, was won by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go, fol­low­ing by Saint Mary’s Uni­ver­si­ty, Laval and Baruch Col­lege.  This case required traders to build a high-fre­quen­cy mar­ket-mak­ing algo­rithm capa­ble of bal­anc­ing price and liq­uid­i­ty risk, while prof­it­ing from the bid-ask spread.

The Quan­ti­ta­tive Out­cry case, involved trad­ing index futures in response to gov­ern­ment macro-eco­nom­ic data releas­es.  This out­cry event is tru­ly unique in the com­pe­ti­tion due to the fact that traders com­mit their trans­ac­tions direct­ly with each oth­er through an “out­cry pit” designed to be sim­i­lar to those at var­i­ous exchanges. The top five teams in this event were Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty in St. Louis, Uni­ver­si­ty of Wind­sor, Flori­da Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty, North­west­ern and Uni­ver­si­ty of Water­loo.

Final­ly, the Options trad­ing case required stu­dents to use option val­u­a­tion mod­els to fore­cast the future volatil­i­ty of an under­ly­ing stock, trad­ing options to ben­e­fit from mis­pric­ing across strike prices. In this case, the top place was a tie between LUISS Uni­ver­si­ty of Rome and Laval Uni­ver­si­ty, fol­lowed by Uni­ver­si­ty of Queens­land in Aus­tralia, Uni­ver­si­ty of Water­loo and Fair­field Uni­ver­si­ty (Con­necti­cut).

Com­pe­ti­tion direc­tor, Kevin Mak, who is also man­ag­er of the lab at the Rot­man School, point­ed out that “stu­dents work real­ly hard at their home uni­ver­si­ties to win the priv­i­lege to come to our inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tion”. Rot­man Prof. Tom McCur­dy, who is the found­ing Direc­tor of the Lab, reports that the “cas­es were designed to facil­i­tate learn­ing about effec­tive strate­gies that work for a range of sce­nar­ios we could face in an uncer­tain world”.

BP Cana­da Ener­gy Com­pa­ny spon­sored the BP Com­modi­ties Trad­ing Case, CIBC World Mar­kets spon­sored the CIBC Algo­rith­mic Trad­ing Case, and Thom­son Reuters spon­sored a Quan­ti­ta­tive Event Dri­ven case. Addi­tion­al finan­cial sup­port for the com­pe­ti­tion was also pro­vid­ed by Cap­i­tal IQ.

The com­pe­ti­tion was held at the Rot­man Finan­cial Research and Trad­ing Lab, a ful­ly equipped com­put­er lab designed to pro­mote expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing in the area of finan­cial mar­kets and data.  The com­pe­ti­tion cas­es are imple­ment­ed over the high­ly acclaimed Rot­man Inter­ac­tive Trad­er appli­ca­tion, a mar­ket sim­u­la­tion tool being used in over 30 uni­ver­si­ties and mon­ey man­age­ment firms around the world. Fur­ther infor­ma­tion on the lab is avail­able

The Rot­man School of Man­age­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is redesign­ing busi­ness edu­ca­tion for the 21st cen­tu­ry with a cur­ricu­lum based on Inte­gra­tive Think­ing. Locat­ed in the world’s most diverse city, the Rot­man School fos­ters a new way to think that enables the design of cre­ative busi­ness solu­tions.  The School is cur­rent­ly rais­ing $200 mil­lion to ensure Cana­da has the world-class busi­ness school it deserves. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it


For more infor­ma­tion:

Ken McGuf­fin
Man­ag­er, Media Rela­tions
Rot­man School of Man­age­ment
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Voice 416.946.3818
Fol­low Rot­man on Twit­ter — @rotmanschool