Quinlan students showcase 'FinTech' knowledge
Two Quinlan undergraduate students put their "FinTech" talents on display at Trading Technologies' 2016 Algo Showcase.
Students from area business schools (including DePaul, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the Illinois Institute of Technology) presented their financial technology savvy in front of an audience of local industry leaders.
The student showcase was sponsored by Trading Technologies, a Chicago-based company that develops financial technology for electronic trading. With the classic trading pits becoming a symbol of the past, this also synergizes with Quinlan’s focus on training students on the trading strategies and equipment of the future.
The Benefits of Participation
Senior Lan Nguyen and junior Richard Osty were the representatives from Quinlan, working with Fady Harfoush, director of the CME Group Foundation Financial Services and Business Analytics Lab. The finance majors worked for two months on their presentation.
“Through this academic partnership, we have access to Trading Technologies software in our business analytics lab,” Harfoush said. “Students are able to use that software to simulate different trading ideas. And the whole purpose of this showcase is to present their ideas in front of the industry leaders. They’ll get the chance to talk with them, and it’s really nice because in the end they’re really talking to future employers.”
Creating a Winning Formula
According to Nguyen, the pair began with a “top-down macro view” to determine the products they would most likely make money on. Once those factors were settled, they put pen to paper and designed their model.
“Two months ago, we had no background with this software,” Osty said. “So the beginning of our process was rocky, but we learned as we went along. Then, our strategy was broken down into four steps—configuration, order management, screening, and the actual trade.”
After some experimentation with soybeans, the pair eventually settled on trading crude oil. Later, they tested their model across different markets. When Nguyen was in his home country of Vietnam, they were able to easily run their model during Asian trading hours.
“Financial markets are complex,” Osty said. “There’s a lot of theories that say ‘This, that, and the other are true.’ And ultimately we picked a strategy that would get in and out of the market as quickly as possible with the highest amount of profitability.”
For Osty, it was his first experience in the realm of quantitative finance and developing a systematic trading strategy. He said working on the Trading Technologies showcase helped to “clear some of the haziness” when it came to high-speed trading.
Further, it wasn’t just a matter of numbers. Success at the showcase depended on presenting their findings to an audience of industry professionals. And the latter half of the showcase gave Nguyen and Osty the chance to network, explain the finer details of their work, and hear specific feedback.
Trading Technologies and Quinlan
“The CampusConnect program is a really important program to us,” said Trading Technologies CEO Rick Lane. “It’s been around for over 10 years, providing training opportunities and experience with the same tools that professional traders use on a day to day basis.”
Trading Technologies CampusConnect Manager Leo Murphy said their relationship with Quinlan is off to a “good start.” He credits Quinlan’s financial services and business analytics lab with giving its students an opportunity to learn the necessary skills and tools of the marketplace.