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  Issue 29 | Archive November 2016

RMI Hosts Industry Talks for MFE Students

In August and September RMI hosted two talks for its Master of Science in Financial Engineering (MFE) students. Both the talks featured industry professionals who gave the MFE students a deeper insight into charting a career path in the financial industry, specifically in hedge funds and FX trading.

The first talk held on 26 August 2016 featured the topic ¡°What is the Future of Hedge Funds?¡± by Mr. Scott Treloar. Mr. Treloar is the Founder of Noviscient, a Singapore-based systematic trading company. He opened up the talk with a brief history of his personal career path, which he began as an engineer, then taking up the role of a banker, before finally becoming a hedge fund manager. He discussed the 2008 financial crisis, its causes and consequences before listing down some of the main lessons to be learned from it. He opined that creating and sharing value is a sustainable business proposition, conservation of risk is important, and incentives matter. Although big funds will continue their upward trend, small funds can also be expected to perform better, despite financial and regulatory challenges, added Mr. Treloar, who was the former CRO of Vulpes Investment Management. He mentioned that investor¡¯s interest in hedge funds will rise given a bear market and strategies will have a more quantitative basis. Mr. Treloar, who has spent 13 years with Macquarie Bank and Deutsche Bank in various roles, concluded the talk by giving the students an insight into Noviscient¡¯s business and their platform, where they apply statistical and machine learning technologies to build robust systematic approaches to trading for institutional and retail investors.

A second talk titled, ¡°A Look inside the Modern Trading Desk¡± by Rory Winston, Director of Electronic FX at Commerzbank, was held on 30 September 2016. Mr. Winston spoke at length about the FX market, its history, structure, and main players. He then briefed the MFE students on the evolution of the FX market, especially the challenges and opportunities. The FX market is becoming more fragmented and new players are emerging, according to Mr. Winston, an Irish banker who was with the ANZ Bank before joining Commerzbank in 2014. He then touched upon the characteristics of the modern trading desk, stating that they are becoming leaner and more systematic, while manual traders are becoming extinct. This gave the students an inside look into the job scope in the field of FX trading. Mr. Winston also discussed some of the new technologies in the trading business, such as algorithmic trading, big data, automation, and DIY trading. He concluded the talk by sharing his views on how regulation is changing the structure of the market, as regulators are demanding increased automation when trading, and the overall role FinTech will play in the future of the industry.

Both talks were part of a series of MFE talks which feature senior practitioners from various industry sectors including private banking, investment banking, commercial banking, and hedge fund. This is aligned with RMI¡¯s continuous efforts to grow its career services for its MFE students.

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Published quarterly by Risk Management Institute, NUS
Editor: Shivani Nakhare (rminsr@nus.edu.sg)