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New lab has more tech to increase students’ business savvy

Telfer’s new Financial Research and Learning Lab has the same technology as traders on Wall Street. Photo: Eric Davidson

The Telfer School of Management launched its newly renovated Financial Research and Learning Lab on Sept. 17, featuring new analysis tools for University of Ottawa students.

The new lab hopes to meet the growing demand of expanding finance and accounting classes in Telfer.

“As we were seeing the success of (the lab), we started to think ‘what’s the next phase, how are we going to expand this place?’” said Pouya Safi, the financial research and learning lab manager.

The lab contains computers with a Bloomberg Terminal, the same tool used by professionals on Wall Street, which can be used to extract and analyze data as well as make trades.

“It’s the most recognized financial research database,” said Safi. “It will prepare you for a job on Wall Street, Bay Street, and in the financial world in general.”

Located on the 2nd floor of the Desmarais Building, the new space is a collaboration with the school’s library, and was initially opened in 2013. But the new facility isn’t just for business students.

“We encourage students from other faculties to use it as well,” said Safi. “We have engineering students, we have biochemistry students and economics students, that want to come use this base because they realize its importance.”

Safi also took the opportunity to launch the new Telfer Capital Fund, where 16 students will be using the tools in the lab to help invest money and manage a portfolio.

“The information and the analysis that we do using the terminals will now be incorporated into the Telfer Capital Fund,” said Safi.

“I use the lab for financial research on companies,” said Tyson Rigg, a fourth-year finance student and portfolio manager leader for the Telfer Capital Fund. Students then invest real money from sponsors, he continued.

The fund will also compete against similar groups from other Canadian universities, including Queen’s and Western, trying to choose the best investments. They’re hoping the new hardware and increased computing power will help them confirm Telfer’s place among the top business schools in Canada.

“I think we have more than what it takes to outperform many of their benchmarks,” said Rigg.

“This lab provides us with real-time news on industry and the capital markets,” he continued. “It’s everything you could ever want in one terminal, there’s so much it can provide to us.”

Rigg and other students are hoping the lab can help them hone their investing skills and, eventually, make some money. “We need to figure out what we can invest in today that will expand five years down the road,” he said.

The U of O and students like Rigg are betting that Telfer’s new lab can make this happen.