Essex launches student investment trading fund

  • Date

    Thu 22 Jun 23

photo of SIT fund members at lunch

Students at the University of Essex will be investing in the stock market as part of a pioneering scheme aimed at giving them hands-on practical industry experience of The City.

Essex alumni have teamed up with academics and students from the Department of Economics to set up a student investment trading fund to prepare a new and diverse generation of financiers. The fund has been started with seed funding from Ian Sinclair Begg, Economics alumnus. 

Students will be trained and supported to trade with real money to see how the world of finance works. The members will gain from tailored seminars, specialist mentoring and advice on investing and careers in The City.

Department of Economics alumnus, James Sesay, Equity Research Associate at Capital Group and one of the founding supporters of the Fund, visited the University in June and met the current members.

He said: “It's great to find a group of students who are so keen and passionate to learn about stocks and the wider market.

“Having myself taken several years post university to eventually find my feet within asset management, I believe initiatives like the Student Investment Trading Fund can play a critical role in preparing students for and accelerating their development into various roles in finance through both the technical and soft skills they pick up.”

This is the first such student investment fund in the East of England and one of the early pioneers amongst all UK Universities. The fund is governed and run by students and aims to empower a new and diverse generation of students interested in careers in finance, opening it up to women, Black Asian Minority Ethnic people and a greater range of socio-economic backgrounds: which employers are acknowledging is a necessary and desirable step for the financial sector.

President of the Fund, studying for a BA in Management Economics, Matej Fejt, said: “My aim in establishing the fund is to raise the employment prospects for students at Essex.

“This university offers great diversity of thought in its population of home and international students, which can be leveraged to drive innovation and progress. The fund follows the US model with a flat hierarchy and space to discuss and agree approaches to investment.”

Leading on the fund’s set up, Marco Francesconi, Professor of Economics, said: “The Student Investment Trading Fund sits centrally to the Essex ethos of real-world experience alongside academic and theoretical learning.

“In addition to the expertise in the Department of Economics, the fund draws on many of the University’s existing strengths and resources, notably our Business School and Computational Centre for Finance and Economics Agents which includes our Bloomberg trading terminals, licenses and training; as well as support from our MSc students who have strong quantitative and financial backgrounds. Students involved in the programme will be able to demonstrate unique experiences that nurture their skills and enhance their CVs, thereby helping them to stand out from their peers when seeking employment within the highly competitive financial services job-market.”

If you or your company have links to the financial sector and would be interested to support the SIT Fund and our students with this exciting new initiative, please get in touch with Mark Williams in our Philanthropy team: