A SUCCESSFUL career in finance is an aspiration for many students.
Recent graduates of the BSc Finance and Business Management (FaBM) programme offered by Henley Business School – the business school of University of Reading Malaysia – have found excellent career opportunities with companies such as Public Bank, OCBC, Petronas, CIMB and Frost and Sullivan.
A key strength of the FaBM programme is the facilities for technology-enhanced learning.
The university has a state-of-the-art dealing room which is equipped with a trading simulation system and financial databases such as ICTrader, Osiris and Thompson Reuter Eikon.
ICTrader is one of the most sophisticated trading simulation systems and is simulated to trade equity, foreign currency and derivatives in the US and UK markets.
It enables students to apply investment theories, concepts and principles they learn in class to real-world scenarios.
The experience helps students understand the role of a professional trader, how markets are structured, how investors bring their orders to a market and how dealers make the market.
Students feel they are at the trading desk and get to experience some of the challenges faced by traders, such as working under pressure and the sudden and sharp movement in share prices.
They are trained to develop their professionalism, determination, consistency, flexibility, analytical skills and their ability to remain calm under pressure.
Osiris is a rich financial database that enables students to access valuable investment information covering more than 105,000 companies worldwide.
The system can filter companies across many dimensions such as financial performance, financial ratio and valuation, ownership and stock data.
Thompson Reuter Eikon is a set of software for financial professionals to monitor and analyse financial information.
The system complements research by offering market analytics, technical analysis and covers a wide set of asset classes including foreign exchange, money markets, fixed income, commodities, fund and real estate.
With rich financial databases, FaBM students can link theoretical finance knowledge with real-world data and research.
The hands-on experience of constructing, managing, reviewing and rebalancing portfolios through financial software tools enhances student learning.
The FaBM programme is closely linked to two major professional bodies – International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute.
ICMA was formed in 1914 and, with 580 members in 62 countries, is an influential voice for the global capital market as it represents a broad range of capital market interests including global investment banks and smaller regional banks, as well as asset managers, exchanges, central banks, law firms and other professional advisers.
The finance department at the University of Reading was named after ICMA in 1991 as the ICMA Centre.
The ICMA Centre is a pioneer in finance education and retains strong links and networks with the global financial industry.
For example, every year, traders from Bank of China fly to the UK campus for training in derivatives under Prof Mike Smith.
This opportunity is now available in Malaysia via the FaBM programme.
The FaBM programme is validated and listed as a university affiliation programme of CFA Institute in Virginia, US. An affiliated programme means the curriculum is closely tied to the practice of investment management.
FaBM embeds a significant portion of the CFA Programme Candidate Body of Knowledge, including the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, into its curriculum.
Best of three worlds
Teaching and learning on the FaBM programme embodies the “best of three worlds”, namely the UK, US and emerging markets.
The original curriculum content originates from the UK but is complemented with research-oriented teaching in the emerging markets context and further incorporates professional standards from the CFA Institute.
The FaBM programme offers highly specialised and advanced subjects in financial modelling, derivatives, and risk management, which are at the forefront of financial education in Malaysia.
Few universities in Malaysia offer such courses and even fewer get their students to construct models and furnish them with real-world data.
Leveraging on Malaysia’s leading position in the Islamic finance space, FaBM students also take one Islamic finance module in their final year which widens their appreciation of both conventional and Islamic financial services industries.
In summary, graduates from the FaBM programme develop skills which set them apart, providing them with excellent career prospects in the finance sector.
Furthermore, 75% of the faculty at Henley Business School are PhD-qualified and many possess relevant industry experience that includes banking, stockbroking and investment research.
Dr Yoke Yue Kan is a lecturer in Finance at Henley Business School, University of Reading Malaysia
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