THE DIGITAL MAGAZINE FOR AUT alumni & friends 2021Alumni 2021
New trading room brings stock exchange buzz to AUT

AUT finance students can get a taste of life in the fast lane without having to set foot on Wall Street thanks to the recently established AUT Business School trading room.

Fully equipped with the latest data and portfolio simulation software, students can experience global financial markets, systems and real-time trading just as they would on the trading desks of New York, London and Hong Kong’s busiest investment banks.

AUT Head of Department, Finance, Professor Aaron Gilbert says the recently-opened facility helps ensure students hit the ground running when they enter the workplace.

“Many students have limited real-life experience of what financial markets and investing are like, so the trading room gives them the opportunity to get hands-on experience that will better prepare them for a career in finance. Even better, they can get that experience without the need to invest their own money, and without the risk of real losses,” he says.

Designed to simulate the environment of a trading floor (it even has a stock ticker giving the latest prices), the trading room gives students access to real time financial databases that allow them to explore news, prices and other information about financial products and markets around the world – from stocks, bonds and currencies, to futures, options, and commodities like gold and dairy.

The opening of the room has delivered a string of benefits – as well as dishing up real-world experience to students, researchers now have access to financial data that has been used to publish in high ranked journals, and trading strategies and financial risk management practices are being embedded into AUT’s teaching and research.

“One innovation is that our latest intake of Master of Applied Finance students have built a simulated portfolio that they will continue to trade while they complete their degree. This portfolio will form the basis for assessments in many of their papers.”

Established 17 years ago, AUT’s Finance Department has carved out an enviable global reputation. In 2020 it was recognised as one of the top two finance departments in New Zealand, and among the top 200 universities worldwide according to one of the most prestigious global university ranking systems, the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

“The AUT Finance Department has risen rapidly in many international ranking systems based on its commitment to producing industry ready graduates, top quality academic research and high-quality engagement with industry. Our current rankings place us alongside many well-known universities from around the world, highlighting the success we’ve had in building a strong reputation.”

It has been a busy 12 months for the Department, says Aaron. “We’ve also recently started a teaching collaboration with Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics in Hangzhou, China. This collaboration sees AUT and Zhejiang lecturers teaching Master of Applied Finance papers to students located in China. Eventually, in a post-COVID world, this will see AUT academics teaching in person to students in China.”

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