Wharton Global Youth Program Annual Knowledge@Wharton High School Investment Competition Winners Announced

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PHILADELPHIA, May 14, 2020 – The Wharton Global Youth Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is excited to announce the winning teams in the 8th annual Knowledge@Wharton High School Investment Competition.

This year’s Global Finale, held via live video conference on May 8 for nearly 100 participants, was the culmination of an engaging financial competition for high school students and educators around the world that began more than six months ago, with student teams managing portfolios of $100,000 in virtual cash and building unique team investment strategies.

Teams competed in four separate regions, including: Eastern and Central Asia (Region 1), sponsored by China Merchants Bank; Southern, Southeastern and Western Asia (Region 2), hosted by Infosys; North America, Europe, Africa and Oceania (Region 3), supported by long-time collaborator, Aberdeen Standard Investments; and Latin America and the Caribbean (Region 4), sponsored and hosted by BTG Pactual.

The competition kicked off on the Wharton Online Investment Simulator (OTIS) on October 7, 2019. From there, more than 800 student teams from 25 countries turned in mid-project team reviews in November, resulting in 572 final competition reports submitted on December 17, 2019.

Judges then chose the top 46 teams to compete in four regional final events – two held in person in Brazil and India and two held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily for students from China and the U.S. The top three teams from each of those events – for a total of 12 finalists – submitted final video presentations for review and answered questions from a panel of judges during the Global Finale on May 8.

The following teams were selected as the 2019-2020 champions – a tie for first place and a second-place winner:

  • 1st Place: East Capital K, United World College of South East Asia, Singapore
  • 1st Place: Over the Moon Investments, Maclay School, Florida, U.S.
  • 2nd Place: Eagles Value Added, Graded American School of São Paulo, Brazil

The Investment Competition Global Finale judging panel included Caitlin Cronin (W’17), a junior analyst on the Alternative Investment Strategies team of Aberdeen Standard Investments; Paul Gordon (WG’99), a managing director of Anchorage Capital Group LLC; Thomas Luddy (WG’76), retired in 2019 from his position as vice chairman of Global Investment Management of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; and Muk Rao (C’94 GEd’05), a product manager and architect at Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS), which operates OTIS, the Online Trading & Investment Simulator used in the investment competition.

The judges took a moment during the Global Finale to reflect on the students’ competition journey. “Watching the hard work you all put into this competition was truly awe-inspiring to me,” said Luddy, who spent 42 years with J.P. Morgan Chase and held numerous key positions in the firm, including global head of equity, head of equity research and chief investment officer. “You should be really proud of what you accomplished here…I hope you saw that the field of finance is not just about making money; it’s about helping people achieve goals that they want to achieve in life.”

Reshma Sohoni (ENG’98 W’98), who studied economics and engineering at the Wharton School and Penn Engineering, also joined Friday’s virtual event to say a few words to the teams, all of whom built their investment strategies around her client profile. “Clearly, you all had fun with the project. I saw some creative themes and slides,” she noted. “I loved the teamwork; everyone contributing their areas of expertise…and I was blown away by the strategies and some pretty impressive math.”

In addition to receiving trophies, this year’s winning teams were awarded access to participate in a new online game, The Saturn Parable, a simulation created by Wharton Interactive that teaches leadership through an interstellar mission.

This is one of many new online learning opportunities that the Wharton Global Youth Program is now offering to high school students. During the May 8 Global Finale, Serguei Netessine, Wharton’s vice dean of Global Initiatives and the Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, said, “Usually I talk about how the Wharton School is the best business school in the world…I’m happy to say we are now the best virtual business school in the world. In these unprecedented times, we very quickly moved about 650 courses that we teach in the spring online. We moved multiple activities online, including this competition.”

On June 1, the Wharton Global Youth Program will launch registration for the newly named 2020-2021 Wharton Global High School Investment Competition, and along with it some important changes to the game. For one, the OTIS online trading simulator will be replaced by the more innovative and streamlined Wharton Investment Simulator (WINS). Other changes include a more active role for educators in the competition, as well as an updated and comprehensive investment competition curriculum. Visit the Wharton Global High School Investment Competition website for more details.

About the Wharton Global High School Investment Competition

The Wharton Global High School Investment Competition is a free, global, online investment simulation for high school students (9th to 12th grade) and teachers. Students learn about teamwork, communication, risk, diversification, company and industry analysis and investing. Teams consist of four to seven students, and classes can enter several competing teams into the competition. Each team manages a portfolio of $100,000 in virtual cash over the course of 10 weeks using an online investment simulator.

The focus of this competition is education. Winners are selected on the strength and articulation of their team investment strategies and overall competition experience, not on the growth of their portfolios, which is a key differentiator between this investment challenge and others.

About the Wharton Global Youth Program

The Wharton Global Youth Program mobilizes the extensive opportunities of the Wharton academic community to educate, inform and inspire pre-college students to explore business practices, analyze the world’s complex challenges, and take the needed steps to become leaders who will transform the global economy. Wharton Global Youth leverages the world-class expertise and research at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to provide campus-based programs, global competitions and online content for high school students and educators.

About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the world’s first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is shaping the future of business by incubating ideas, driving insights, and creating leaders who change the world. With a faculty of more than 235 renowned professors, Wharton has 5,000 undergraduateMBAexecutive MBA and doctoral students. Each year 13,000 professionals from around the world advance their careers through Wharton Executive Education’s individual, company-customized, and online programs. More than 99,000 Wharton alumni form a powerful global network of leaders who transform business every day. For more information, visit www.wharton.upenn.edu.