Newcastle University Business School

News Item

Students create virtual hedge fund to give valuable experience in the investment industry

NCL Capital Partners is the first student led virtual hedge fund at Newcastle University.

It aims to give students an insight into the investment industry and establish a way for employers and professionals in the industry to track the performance of individual analysts and the fund.

The initiative, which was founded in September 2017 by MSc Banking and Finance graduate, Thomas Cullen, has recruited 54 students in both senior and analyst roles with the hope of recruiting more members this summer.

NCL Capital Partners gives Newcastle University students the opportunity to gain works experience in writing equity research reports based on CFA reports, as well as building trading strategies. The research is split between three divisions: the equity long short; managed futures; and multi-asset trading to produce reports across a range of industry sectors. Students receive special training throughout their time on the fund, including instruction on how to use the Bloomberg terminal facilities here in the Business School. The ongoing training sessions held throughout the year facilitate the creation of overall fund portfolios which are then presented by members of the fund to a board of directors.

Participation in the hedge fund brings with it a wealth of benefits for the students. Alongside the work experience, the portfolios – once they have been uploaded onto the website – serve as a recruitment tool for employers looking for students wanting to go into the investment industry.

When asked about his motivation to set up the virtual hedge fund, Thomas spoke of a gap in the number of opportunities available for gaining work experience in investment – especially in the North East. He saw an opportunity for Newcastle University to compete with Universities that already had created student led hedge funds.

He said, “I set up the Investment Society as a way to teach students about financial markets, however I felt it was important that as a group, we had the opportunity to put the theory into practise. The virtual hedge fund allows us to do that. The hedge fund allows Newcastle University to have a competitive advantage against Universities who have not yet established this sort of initiative, and compete with those that do through our unique 3 divisional structure.

“Whilst the hedge fund is purely virtual at the moment, the end goal is to deal with real money. We already have strong links to industry, and the continuation of the fund can only strengthen these.”

One of the ways in which NCL Capital Partners plan to do this is through the Annual Conference & Dinner which will take place in April this year. Attending the event will be students working in the fund, Newcastle University staff, and industry professionals, some of which are sponsoring the event. The conference will provide NCL Capital Partners with the opportunity to showcase the work they have done, as well as offer networking and guest speaker opportunities.

Senior members of the fund are urging students from all degree disciplines and years to apply when applications open in September. Further information can be found on the website.

Thomas Cullen

published on: 8 February 2018