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Financial knowledge, quick decision making, and good teamwork have helped Holyrood Secondary and Madras College win a competition challenging pupils to show their investment skills.

The schools were the winners of the Investment Challenge in which S5 and S6 pupils work in teams to grow a virtual investment fund, making decisions on what to buy and sell based on their own research and incoming news stories.

The competition is sponsored by BNP Paribas Securities Services in partnership with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Global Investor Simulations.

Six schools beat 26 others to reach regional finals hosted by BNP Paribas at their offices in Dundee and Glasgow, giving them the chance to pit their investment wits against each other whilst also hearing more about careers in the financial services industry.

Madras College triumphed in the North-east region, beating Arbroath Academy and Montrose Academy.

Jacek Michalowicz, S5 pupil with Madras College and member of the winning team, said:

"I really enjoyed the experience and the highly competitive nature of the Investment Challenge competition. I developed my communication and analytical skills and enjoyed the high-risk environment. The experience has given me a valuable insight into working in the financial services sector." 

Holyrood Secondary clinched the title in the West region, beating Bishopbriggs Secondary and Clydeview Academy in Gourock.

Noorulain Farukh pupil at Holyrood Secondary, said:

“Taking part in the Investment Challenge helps you work as a team, develop your research skills and learn when to take risks.  

“The simulation game has been great – and I really enjoyed the tour behind the scenes at the BNP Paribas offices and the employability workshops.”

More than 1,100 pupils took part in the competition using the online business simulation Finance Lab, with volunteers from BNP Paribas Securities Services visiting schools to meet teachers and students and talk about opportunities in the sector.

Mark Daisley, Head of UK Operations, Investment and Fund Services, BNP Paribas Securities Services, said: “We’d like to congratulate Holyrood Secondary and Madras College for such impressive performances, and applaud all schools for the enthusiasm they’ve shown during the competition.

“The Investment Challenge helps us develop close links with local schools and offers real benefits to young people as they explore their career options. Our sponsorship of this initiative is part of our  wider commitment to making a positive and long-term impact in the communities in which we operate and help promote quality education as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals .”

The competition supports the Developing the Young Workforce strategy and forms part of SDS’s Skills Investment Plan for Scotland’s Financial Services sector, which features themes including attracting new talent.

Ian Hanson, Key Sector Manager for Financial and Business Services at Skills Development Scotland, said: “The commitment shown by schools across the country taking part in the Investment Challenge has been hugely impressive, and congratulations go to Holyrood and Madras in clinching the titles.

“The finalists and all those young people involved in the challenge will have learned a great deal from visits by employees of BNP Paribas, and the involvement of employers in activities such as this is hugely important if young people are to gain a firm understanding of the careers available in the sector.”

Further information

For further information, visit the Investment Challenge website.


Abercorrn Secondary takes on the Investment Challenge

Abercorrn Secondary takes on the Investment Challenge

Want captions? See the video here

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