The City's technology brought to the classroom

03 May 2013

Jon Rushman

How to cut through the mass of financial information and get ahead in the markets is something that takes years of experience.

At Warwick Business School students gain that experience in a matter of months as it brings the tools of the City to the classroom in its MSc in Finance & Information Technology course.

Jon Rushman, previously a Managing Director at BlackRock and a 14-year veteran of the company, has joined WBS as a Professor of Practice to not only share his experience of building information systems that manage some of the biggest pools of assets in the world with students, but to reveal how to use the tools to do it as well.

Students learn how to write robust applications that source market data from Bloomberg and Reuters, and integrate that with leading analytic tools like FINCAD and IBM’s CPLEX to produce professional quality investment software.

These are the same data and tools used by the financial world’s biggest players so students can test out their investment and trading theories in real world situations.

“I am giving them hands on experience of things that are hard to find outside a top-tier financial institution” said Professor Rushman. “When they leave us, their CV will boast software development techniques that typically only high-flyers at places like Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley get to do.

“They will write professional-quality programmes that pull down data from industry-standard data feeds and use that to automate or inform financial decision-making.  

“I don’t just want to teach people how to access these data sets - I want to teach them to do something useful with them! In doing this, they will assimilate ‘premium’ software development skills while sampling a variety of real-world financial IT applications and consolidating their financial theory work.”

Professor Rushman has licensed a range of commonly used libraries and data-sets to make his classroom software environment very close to that of a big London or New York-based financial house. 

 “People with a mastery of particular technologies are much sought after in the job market,” he said.  “We think the vendors of such technologies will also see the benefit of partnering with us as we teach these skills.

“There is tremendous demand for people whose skills encompass both finance and IT and I don’t believe anyone is teaching a course quite like this.  I think WBS is really uniquely positioned to do something quite special.

“The main reason I have come here is to help create a unique and widely respected programme in finance and IT.

“It takes the core of the school’s MSc in Finance, which justifiably has a great reputation being the UK’s top pure Finance course according the Financial Times, and gives it an extra angle that will make people coming out of WBS really attractive to employers who want their IT specialists to be intimately involved with the investment strategies. I don’t think any other school has tried to achieve that.”

Sebastian Jansich is about to finish his MSc Finance and Information Technology course and has already secured a job at Morgan Stanley. He says it is the only course around that brings technology and finance together, something so essential in the City today.

“It starts off in the first term learning financial theory and in term two it connects finance with IT and more strategic IT models,” said Janisch. “In term three you can go more technical, or do more qualitative research, like looking at how the London Stock Exchange turned electronic.

“The networking events allow you to get to know the companies you might like to work for – it really hooks you into the industry.”

Professor Rushman will be teaching on Warwick Business School’s MSc in Finance & Information Technology and MSc in Financial Mathematics, plus giving an introduction to financial systems architecture on some undergraduate courses.


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