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CBE students acquire another real-world analytical tool

The Financial Services Lab in the College of Business and Economics now offers three certification programs through which students gain analytical skills.

As senior portfolio manager for Caxton Associates, a global macro hedge fund company on Wall Street, Jeff Enslin ’88 analyzes macro trends and studies the history of currencies, bonds and stocks in order to predict their future performance.

He relies on analytical tools like those created by CQG, a financial services leader whose professional-level trading platform offers market data, analytics, news and order routing.

“It’s a fantastic platform,” says Enslin. “I use CQG not only to track live prices of a variety of instruments globally but also to spot important trends and to analyze what recent data is trying to tell us. It’s a very valuable tool.”

Enslin, a member of the advisory committee to Lehigh’s Financial Services Laboratory (FSL), found the CQG platform so valuable that he felt it necessary for Lehigh’s students to have access to it as well.

“When the FSL opened in 2004, Jeff initiated the original contact with CQG,” says Anne Anderson, a Joseph R. and Amy M. Perella Chair of finance and the director of the FSL in the College of Business and Economics. “By helping us start a relationship with CQG he gave our students, once again, an opportunity that their peers at other institutions probably don’t have.

Standing out in the job market

“The more tools our students learn to use the better they will be able to differentiate themselves in the job market. CQG’s software package focuses on technical analysis, an area not currently taught extensively in Lehigh’s finance curriculum. By learning to use this software, students will have a better idea of how to analyze data and will be better prepared at their first job.”

“CQG believes that any professional education, especially one in finance, is incomplete if it does not include training in the practical aspects of the field,” says Mark Fischer, CQG’s marketing director. “Lehigh’s FSL is a great example of the kind of hands-on training that is so important for a business student to receive along with the more theoretical aspects of business and economics.”

This semester, 11 Lehigh junior and senior finance majors are taking part in the CQG certification program. They are learning how to interpret trend lines and channels, analyze patterns and trading ranges, and apply that knowledge in the real world.

The program is the first of its kind offered by CQG at a U.S. business college. Industry professionals are teaching students how to use the company’s software.

“It’s a highly competitive job market and knowing how to use tools like CQG will give Lehigh students a leg up on other business school graduates,” says Enslin. “Students can use this tool in the FSL to analyze live situations.

Learning to make investment recommendations

“One popular theme in the markets now is the significant increase in the price of gold. Gold has returned to its once-important role as a store of wealth, especially as doubts increase over the long-term value of paper money and uncertainty surrounding inflation. By using CQG, students can observe how policy announcements, economic releases or other events influence the price of this ever-important commodity.

“This type of analysis can help students learn to make investment recommendations. That’s the best way to learn—by working with real-life situations in real time.”

In short, says Enslin, employers and corporate recruiters today are looking for business graduates who are technologically savvy and can use a variety of financial tools.

The CQG program is one of three certification programs offered in the FSL. Earlier this year, Lehigh and Thomson Reuters launched ThomsonOne, which allows students to develop the same information technology skills as a junior investment banker. Like CQG, Thomson Reuters provides industry professionals to teach the logistics of its products.

In addition, Lehigh boasts 12 Bloomberg terminals, offering students Bloomberg certifications in four market sectors: Equities, Fixed Income, FX, and Commodities. There are currently over 250,000 Bloomberg terminals around the world, and Lehigh students certified in the databases are capable of performing real-time research on companies, markets, countries and economies.

 

Story by Bill Doherty

Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2010

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