Four candidates from the Rotman School of Management’s Master of Financial Risk Management (MFRM) program placed first in the Risk Management Challenge organized by the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA), winning the cash prize of USD 10,000 . PRMIA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to âpromote, develop and share professional risk management practices globallyâ.
Undergraduate and graduate students studying fields such as finance, economics, and math took part in this three-level challenge.
The Risk Management Challenge began in December 2020 with an online preliminary round, in which participants were asked to write a three-page executive summary analyzing a scandal at National Australia Bank – a fictional case inspired by a real event – from a risk management perspective.
The teams with the best executive summaries progressed through the regional round where they presented their analyzes to a panel of judges as part of a presentation, and also submitted a MATLAB challenge solution.
The regional winners then entered the international round on April 19, 2021. The international championship consisted of a more in-depth analysis of the original case study and a 20-minute virtual presentation followed by a question-and-answer session with a panel of industry experts.
The winning team, The Big Four, consisting of Jason Ho, Laura Liu, Mingze Li and Irene Liang, was announced at the end of the international round. University spoke with members of the Big Four about their victory and their unique experiences.
Become a team
Ho said University that in the beginning, it was just him and Liang on the team. Ho recruited the other two candidates, Liu and Li, because of their reputation in the classroom. Ho described the MFRM program as being very tight-knit, and since all applicants were enrolled in the same courses, all team members vaguely knew each other just by attending the courses.
âWe heard a lot of good things about each other before we formed the team,â Liu said. The university.
The team recognized that the MFRM program courses were a key part of their success. Ho said University that the content taught in the MFRM program gave the four teammates a solid understanding of âoperational risk,â which was an important part of the case they had to analyze. He also explained that the MFRM program has not only helped students acquire technical skills, but also clearly communicate their solutions.
Despite the fact that they all learned the same skills through the MFRM program, Li pointed out that each candidate brought their own prior knowledge.
âEach of us has different backgrounds and different strengths. For example, Laura has a very solid experience in operational risk. Jason is very good at market risk and oversight, âLi said. The team divided the presentation and case study work based on these strengths.
Presentation in times of pandemic
The team recognized that the online presentation had advantages and disadvantages. Ho and Liu explained that there was less pressure on presenting online and it was less intimidating. The MFRM program also requires that students present on many different occasions.
On the other hand, presenting virtually came with challenges. Liu expressed difficulty in effectively conveying his emotions and enthusiasm to the audience on a virtual platform. She also pointed out that technical issues can complicate presentations on a virtual platform.
Members of the Big Four team gave advice to future participants in the PRMIA Risk Management Challenge.
Ho advised the students not to focus too much on the technical part of a case and to remember to convey their main message as clearly as possible. Liu echoed this sentiment and urged the students to think about the root cause of any problem they are trying to solve.
Ho and Li both stressed the importance of finding a good team. Li said it was extremely important to have a team with a diverse background and eager to learn.
âTogether we turned out to work really well,â Ho said. âI think that’s the reason we won the case competition.â