Sparks of Thought on FinTech - 2018 IYLFS Successfully Held

2018 International Youth Leadership Finance Summit (2018 IYLFS) organized by Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) Master of Finance (MF) Program rang down its curtain in Shanghai recently.

After several rounds of keen competition, 130 outstanding undergraduates from 25 top-class universities and colleges across the world were shortlisted in the final, who centered on the hotspot domain of FinTech and exchanged on the three areas of Robo-advisor, Data Mining and Blockchain. The final competition focused on four topics of “Rotation Strategy within the Banking Sector”, “Design of Blockchain Application”, “Quantitative Asset Allocation Using Black-Litterman Model”, and “Credit Risk Model for Individual Loan”. Four teams from London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Toronto, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Renmin University of China eventually won the champions in four categories.

Launched by SAIF MF Program in 2013, IYLFS is designed to providing a platform of collective learning and advancement for students from all kinds of higher education institutions, which will foster their capabilities of communication and organization. Moreover, it also aims to improving their understanding on financial theories and practices through presentation, competition and face-to-face dialogue with business leaders and scholars in the financial sector.

Ms. Lin Yang, Head of Master of Finance Program, Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance, greeted the participants from all over the world with the opening address at the welcome dinner. She pointed that this year’s IYLFS had attracted over 1,000 participants from world-class institutions, including not only local C9 and 985 universities like Peking University, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Nankai University, Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, but also international schools, such as London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Pennsylvania State University, University of British Columbia, National University of Singapore, University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Taiwan University and National Chengchi University.

Mr. Pinjue Che, Expert Partner of Sequoia Capital China; Former Vice President of Alibaba Group, and Ms. Helen Mu, Senior Vice President of China PnR and CEO of PnR Data were invited as keynote speakers at the event. Targeting at Artificial Intelligence (AI), Mr. Che discussed the evolution of FinTech and shared the latest investment trends in AI business and innovative players in 2018. In contrary, Ms. Mu illustrated how technologies are changing the service approaches of financial institutions by explaining China PnR’s development of its FinTech application system.

Mr. Pinjue Che shared the latest investment trends in AI business

Ms. Helen Mu illustrated how technologies are changing the service approaches of financial institutions

In addition to Prof. Xianglin Li, Professor of Practice, SAIF; Prof. Jie Hu, Special-Term Professor, SAIF; Prof. Xiaomeng Lu, Assistant Professor of Finance, SAIF; and Mr. Honghui Zhu and Ms. Ting Wu, both Researchers of China Academy of Financial Research (CAFR), SAIF, 2018 IYLFS also assembled a jury of industry leaders, consisting of Mr. Donghai Xie, Founding Partner, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Shangyi Capital; Ms. Jing Qu, Head of Quantitative Business Department, Zhong Ou Asset Management Co., Ltd.; Mr. Xianghuai Zhao, Vice General Manager and Chief Analyst, Financial Sector, Anxin Securities Research Institute; Mr. David Wang, Co-Founder, MOMFO; Mr. Zengkui Zhao, Senior Vice President, GP Capital; Mr. Zhaohui Gu, Director of Quantitative Research Department, Shangyi Capital; Mr. Fugong Wang, Vice President, Iuicity; and Mr. Jiayue Chen, Head of Risk Controlling & Modelling Team, Kuainiu Group. Judges think 2018 IYLFS is well-organized, from the design of topics, the preparation of projects, periodic reports and the final presentation. The Summit also engaged in strategic partnership with CFA, Zhong Ou Asset Management, Qiangungun, Iuicity and Kuainiu Group.

On January 28th, the first day of the competition, Prof. Chun Chang, Executive Dean and Professor of Finance at SAIF, greeted the participants and revealed his insights on FinTech and 2018 IYLFS topics. During the panel discussion chaired by Prof. Zhan Jiang, Faculty Director of Master of Finance Program and Associate Professor of Finance at SAIF, Ms. Rhea Liu, Co-Founder & Vice President, VFinance, Mr. Yang Zhao, Senior Vice President, Kuai Niu Group, Mr. Pinjue Che and Ms. Jing Qu interpreted the concept of FinTech from their own perspectives, concerning what are the status quo and outlook of FinTech applications in China and what kind of changes FinTech will bring to the financial sector. Furthermore, the panelists also conveyed valuable advices to MF students based on years of experience and practice.

Welcome speech by Prof. Chun Chang, Executive Dean of SAIF

Prof. Zhan Jiang, Faculty Director of SAIF MF Program, hosted the panel discussion

Through live broadcast via Weibo, 2018 IYLFS demonstrated the collective wisdom of the teams and their innovative exploration of FinTech application scenarios. The stringent logic, framework integrity and sound research was highly recognized by both jury and audience. Some of the teams in the categories of “Design of Blockchain Application” and “Quantitative Asset Allocation Using Black-Litterman Model” immediately won the appreciation of jury members running FinTech business at the site, who further communicated about the implementation of solutions and the investment opportunities. The participants from National University of Singapore, Tongji University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and London School of Economics and Political Science shared their ideas about blockchain applications, including the launch of agricultural insurance, targeted poverty improvement, renovation of housing rental market and used car market. The students from University of Toronto intended to solve environmental concerns with blockchain tokens, while Fudan University Team established a credit information exchange system with intelligent contracts to break down the information barriers between lenders. The jury also raised a number of questions on the differences between the roles of blockchain and traditional instruments, how to motivate various stakeholders to take part in projects and how to build up the framework of an entire blockchain system. “Competing teams need to consider the specific needs the project meets and how to put the project into practice.” The collision of opinions and in-depth insights from experts led players and audience to ponder more over these topics.

“We are impressed by the presentations of all participants. Their performances have exceeded even our expectations. Hope that participants will know more about market needs after the summit and put their innovative thought into practice”, commented by judges from the industry.

Impressive presentations on the competition day

Intensive debates with other participants

Insightful comments from judges

Students from MF16 & MF 18 also gave special presentations on topics of “Rotation Strategy within the Banking Sector”, “Quantitative Asset Allocation Using Black-Litterman Model”, "Precision Marketing" and “Credit Risk Model for Individual Loan” during the non-competition session. With the guidance of SAIF professors as well as mentors from China Academy of Financial Research, MF students have more chances to communicate with companies, thus they have more profound understanding of the topics and their application solutions are also more practical.

Special team presentation by MF16 & MF18 Students

Concluding remarks by Prof. Zhan Jiang

Tailored for international players, the event of Cultural Day showed the charm of Tai Chi, calligraphy and Chinese art as well as Shanghai’s urban planning to the participants, who highly appreciated these heritage gems and modern expertise.

2018 IYLFS also provided remarkable rewards. Not only the winner in each category was awarded with cash bonus and CFA Grant, but also all teams were endowed with Engagement Bonus by ranking. Moreover, SAIF MF Program stood the accommodation expenses of players during the final session.

Closing speech by Mr. Jie Pan, Deputy Dean of SAIF

Performance by representatives of Zhejiang University

The Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) was established at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, with strategic and financial support from the Shanghai Municipal Government and premier overseas Chinese scholars. In February 2016, SAIF became a member of American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) as one of the youngest business schools in the system.

One of SAIF’s flagship programs, SAIF MF Program started recruitment in 2009. In the Financial Times’s (FT) 2017 ranking of global business schools, SAIF MF was ranked No.1 in Asia and No.14 in the world and topped the table of all its Asian peers in terms of Value for Money and Salary Increase. Today, SAIF MF is one of the most recognized Master of Finance programs in Asia.

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