Financial Trading Room Opened at QUB

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Queen's University Belfast

Northern Ireland’s first ever financial trading room has been officially opened at Queen’s later today (Wednesday, 5 September).


Replicating the stock exchanges of New York and London, The First Derivatives Trading Room (FDTR), will provide a dynamic learning environment for students hoping to embark in a career in financial services or technology.


Based at Queen’s University Management School at Riddel Hall, the facility will give students the experience of trading in a busy stock exchange, with the capacity to deal in real-time equities, bonds, foreign exchange and derivative instruments.


Students will have access to 12 trading stations (capacity of 24 students at a time), a real-time electronic ticker tape featuring financial information feeds from Bloomberg, two large-screen displays providing live coverage of CNBC, CNN, and other financial networks, and software for trading, deal capturing, settlement, analytics, pricing, portfolio management, derivatives pricing, and other finance-related challenges.


The Trading Room has been funded by First Derivatives plc, a Northern Ireland provider of software and consulting services to the global capital markets industry, and Invest Northern Ireland.


Speaking at the official opening, Professor Donal McKillop from Queen’s University Management School, said: “The opening of the First Derivatives Trading Room illustrates both Queen’s commitment to delivering a world-class experience for its students and its status as an employer-attuned university.


“With first-hand experience of the high-pressure atmosphere of the trading room, Queen’s finance students will now have even more of an edge in the global job market. I would like to congratulate First Derivatives plc, and Invest NI, in having the vision to back the Trading Room, which will ensure Queen’s can continue to work alongside industry in helping attract further investment in Northern Ireland.”


Brian Conlon, CEO of First Derivatives plc, both a graduate and honorary graduate of Queen’s, views the Trading Room as a platform for closer engagement between the company and Queen’s students and staff. He said: “We already offer one of the largest graduate training programmes in Northern Ireland, employing some 30 Queens University graduates each year. From our perspective this is an opportunity to further collaborate with Queen’s on projects and develop courses in Computational Finance which align more closely with our company’s requirements.


“Partnerships like that seen today between First Derivatives plc, Queen’s, and Invest NI, create synergies between the world of business, government and academia and are exactly what’s needed to drive the development of Northern Ireland’s knowledge economy.”


Alastair Hamilton, CEO, Invest Northern Ireland, said: “Growing our Financial Services sector through a combination of inward investors and local company growth is a strategic priority for Invest NI.


“Northern Ireland is already recognised as a top global destination for financial technology investments, in part due to the quality of graduates coming from our world-class universities. This new Trading Room will provide an excellent opportunity for students to gain valuable practical experience of working in this dynamic sector and will make a major contribution to ensuring that we continue to develop the talent pool to drive future growth. It is a hugely valuable resource that will benefit both local businesses looking for new employees, as well as future investors considering Northern Ireland as an investment location.”


The new Trading Room will see bespoke modules on financial trading integrated into existing degree provision at Queen’s, including undergraduate Finance degrees and postgraduate degrees in Risk Management and Financial Regulation, and Finance. September 2013 will see the launch of a new MSc in Computational Finance which will be taught almost exclusively within the Trading Room.


The opening of the First Derivatives Trading Room is the latest development at Queen’s Riddel Hall campus following a £15M investment in the site. The University is the first in the UK and Ireland to have a dedicated Graduate and Executive Education Centre comprising Queen’s University Management School, a Graduate School and a Leadership Institute, to meet the needs of global and local business.


Further information on Queen’s University Management School is available online at