A virtual win in derivatives

An MBA student from the Schulich School of Business at York University has won the top prize in an elite North American competition that measures skill in derivative trading.

Tingmin (Tim) Chen (right), a second-year MBA student at Schulich specializing in financial engineering, racked up a total of $459,560 in virtual profits, giving him top spot overall. Chen edged out competitors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, to win top prize. All participants in the competition start with $100,000 in virtual cash, and buy and sell contracts in open auctions.

The online competition, known as “degreeTrade”, is open to graduate and undergraduate students and included competitors from such top-ranked universities as Harvard, Yale and Princeton.

The “zero-sum” competition, which took place over a four-week period during the month of October, is based on a fictitious market and market rules that allow university students to go head-to-head in a test of their investment skills and quantitative acumen.