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Financial knowledge, quick decision making, and good teamwork have helped an Angus school win a competition challenging pupils to show their investment skills.

Arbroath Academy were the winners of a competition 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 – Arbroath Academy, Balwearie High, Bearsden Academy, Cleveden Secondary, Clydeview Academy and Madras College – reached the finals hosted by BNP Paribas via a virtual event, giving them the chance to pit their investment wits against each other whilst also hearing more about careers in the financial services industry.

Melissa Anderson, Business Education Teacher at Arbroath Academy, said:

"The investment challenge is a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn more about finance and bring investing to life. 

“To succeed the students had to use their communication, decision making and analysing skills, as well as teamwork.   What an amazing experience for them!"

Member of the winning team and pupil at Arbroath Academy, David Cordiner, said:

"It was a fun experience and gave me insight into future job opportunities."

Insight into career opportunities 

Pupils get a real-life insight into the industry using the online business simulation Finance Lab, with volunteers from BNP Paribas Securities Services visiting schools virtually to talk about opportunities in the sector and share their career journeys.

Mark Daisley, Head of Client Delivery (COO) for UK, Middle East and Channel Islands, BNP Paribas Securities Services, said:

“We’d like to congratulate Arbroath Academy for such an impressive performance, and applaud all schools for the enthusiasm they’ve shown during the competition. This has been a challenging time for everyone during the ongoing Pandemic through 2020/21 and the schools should be congratulated in their agility to ensure we were able to continue to support this important initiative. 

“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.”

Benefits of industry engaging with education

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:

“Congratulations to Arbroath Academy - and all schools who took part in this year’s Investment Challenge.

“The competition provides school pupils an exciting insight into career opportunities in the sector, and promotes the development of key skills, such as communication and problem solving. 

“With the immense disruption caused by the pandemic, it’s crucial that industry and schools continue to engage in these kinds of initiatives to support young people’s future career pathways.”   

Find out more

Further information about the Investment Challenge is available at

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