Media Contact:Stu Vincent
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Date: Apr 23, 2008
Zarb School of Business Students Take Second Place in NYMEX Commodities Challenge
Hofstra team competed against colleges nationwide in electronic and open outcry contestsHofstra University, Hempstead, NY – A team of Hofstra graduate students from the Frank G. Zarb School of Business took second place in the national New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Commodities Challenge after competing against 25 teams from 20 colleges.
The Challenge consisted of a team electronic trading competition held from February 13 to April 8 and "open outcry" competitions for individuals held at the NYMEX trading floor in New York on April 11 and on April 19 at the University of Houston.
Hofstra’s electronic trading team consisted of finance MBA students Tansel Alan (team leader), Jessie Chen, Kay Hung, Steven Monti, Ronak Shah, and Swapnil Shah. All the students are currently taking the graduate Futures Markets course taught by Dr. Ahmet Karagozoglu, associate professor of finance and the faculty supervisor for Hofstra team. The students competed against teams from colleges and universities including Brown, Columbia, George Washington, Penn State, Quinnipiac, Syracuse, U. of Texas at Austin and Yale. In two rounds, students traded NYMEX crude oil and natural gas futures contracts electronically. Teams were allocated $100,000 and $250,000 trading allowances in the first two rounds to buy and sell futures contracts. The Hofstra team achieved about a 27 percent return in less than two months. Last year’s Hofstra team took third place in the electronic trading competition.
Undergraduate and graduate Hofstra finance students also competed individually against more than 60 students from 13 colleges and universities in the open outcry competition. A panel of judges made up of NYMEX officials and floor traders evaluated student traders on their ability to execute trades. After several rounds of competition, judges identified the top 12 traders, who received cash prizes. Hofstra placed four students in the top 12, more than any other college or university. Hofstra undergraduate finance student Jenna Tevere and graduate finance students Juan Gutierrez, Kay Hung and Steven Monti received cash prized by being among the top 12 traders. At the 2007 NYMEX Commodities Challenge's open outcry trading competition, six Hofstra students placed in the top 10.
Hofstra University co-sponsored the competition along with Columbia University, the University of Houston and the New York Mercantile Exchange. Two student organizations, Columbia's SIPA Energy Association and Hofstra Quants & Traders, together with NYMEX co-hosted the open outcry trading competition held at NYMEX on April 11.
Dr. Karagozoglu, who is also academic director of the Martin B. Greenberg Trading Room at Hofstra, said he is very proud of but not surprised by his student’ success. “I attribute their success to their motivation, dedication and hard work; to the knowledge they acquired in his Futures Markets course; and to the additional workshops and training sessions I conducted in the Martin B. Greenberg Trading Room utilizing the facility’s resources like the Bloomberg Professional terminals and other various trading simulation applications,” he said.
Dr. Karagozoglu, who is also the faculty adviser of Hofstra Quants & Traders (HQT) student group, said that Hofstra students' success two years in a row indicates that they have both the theoretical understanding of the functioning of derivatives markets and the skills to apply their knowledge to trading in today’s complex financial markets.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 145 undergraduate and 155 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education and allied human services, and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, our professors teach small classes averaging 22 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis. Hofstra offers a faculty whose highest priority is teaching excellence, cutting edge technology, extensive library resources, internships and special educational programs that appeal to their interests and abilities. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.