Five UNC Charlotte graduate students put their trading skills to the test in the 2022 Duke FinTech Intercollegiate Trading Competition, a nearly three-month long simulation sponsored by Duke University.
Davide Benetton and Roberto Donvito, students in Charlotte’s Master of Science in Mathematical Finance, finished the competition in the top 20. More than 150 students from more than 40 universities participated in the event.
Students in the simulation were each given $1 million with a goal of increasing the value of their portfolio while avoiding dramatic fluctuations. The final ranking was based on the Sharpe ratio, an index that compares the profitability of a portfolio with its volatility, Benetton explains.
While the competition was a simulation, it was impacted by real-life events, which challenged participants to reconfigure their strategies on the fly.
“The Russia-Ukraine war had a huge impact on the performance and led to a sudden change in the strategy, such that the new scenario could be exploited to make profits,” Benetton said.
UNC Charlotte participants were: Benetton (No. 10), Donvito (No. 13), Eric Santiago (No. 40), Seth Lingafeldt (No. 68), and Navodit Paudel (No. 71). All five students are enrolled in the interdisciplinary master’s in math finance program.
Benetton and Donvito, who are both dual master’s degree students with Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) in Italy, credited their classroom experiences in helping them navigate scenarios to the best possible portfolio.
“The competition was a place to apply concretely what was learned in class. It was the opportunity to move from a theoretical approach to a practical one,” Benetton said.
As a STEM-designated program of the departments of Finance and Economics in the Belk College of Business and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the nationally ranked program excels as an emerging field in one of the top AACSB accredited business schools in North Carolina.