About ACI Dealing Simulation
Started in 1984, the ACI Australia Dealing Simulation Course offers delegates the opportunity to learn about the following:
How do I execute/manage risk on behalf of my bank or customer?
What price should I make?
What are my customers specific needs?
Electronic platforms are used to not only transact with other Banks but also to communicate with customers. The course lectures , presentations and workshops themselves are now aimed at a broad cross section of your staff so that not only traders benefit from the course but also e-FX Sales Staff , and Risk Managers from your Market, Credit, Compliance and Operational Risk areas, and Legal & Documentation staff. Essentially anyone that has a role that touches on the day to day activities of a Dealing Room will take away invaluable practical experience from this course , plus potential long standing market relationships.
A Steep Learning Curve
ACI Australia recently held its very successful Dealing Simulation course in the UK. Profit & Loss sent one of its staff, Jennifer Coldwell, along as a delegate on the course – this is her diary.
I am informed that I am going on the ACI Dealing Simulation Course next week, starting on the Tuesday and ending on the Friday. This fills me with dread as I have a limited knowledge of spot trading. I feel it is going to be a long weekend.
Day one, Tuesday
It is 5:00am and I am feeling slightly nauseous, its too early and I wonder who else has signed up for the “fun”. I hope that I am not the only one that has no experience in this field.
Upon arriving at the hotel, the first person I meet is Noora Pahkala, who works at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken. We chat and I find out that I am not alone in thinking this might be a tough week, which is comforting.
At about 8:00am we walk over to the Excel Centre, where we will spend most of our time for the next four days. This is where we will be doing the dealing simulation. Once out of the lift on the second floor we are met with the longest corridor I have ever seen in my life it conjures up images of “The Shining”. It is about 400 metres long and takes about five minutes to walk.
Once at the lecture room, we are split into six banks, three people in each, called: Tiger, Baboon, Cheetah, Giraffe, Eagle and Gorilla. Luckily I am in the same group as Noora, Tiger Bank. Our other teammate is Per Kvarnstrom, Sveriges Riksbank.
At 8:30am the instructors of the course introduce themselves, they are Mike Eastaway of NAB, Sydney; Chris Howlett of ACI Australia; Colin Lambert, Profit & Loss. They will manage the course and act as customers and central bank under the name Zoo.
Eastaway begins by giving us a presentation on spot foreign exchange, explaining how FX transactions arise, who makes up the FX market, what influences the market, and how it basically works, as well as details spot market concepts, including how spot rates are quoted and what a price maker and price user are. This provides us with the basics for the rest of the course.
Kevin Conlon from the Society of Technical Analysts then gives us a comprehensive talk about technical analysis. He explains how graphs can be used to represent the market. He uses bar charts and candle graphs to illustrate his points and explains how to interpret them.
Finally, we are introduced to the Saxo Bank trading game in which we will be able to trade in real markets, on their electronic trading platform. Those with the three highest closing amounts will win. I decide to buy dollars against the South African rand, just because of a hunch I have about the rand depreciating. This game is done during our own break time. So even then it is trading, trading, trading.
Before our first dealing session begins, Howlett outlines the dealing simulation rules. We are shown specifically how the market operates, how participants need to operate, what limits are, quoting procedures and behaviour. This information proves invaluable to us.
Howlett explains to us that each team has a link to voice brokers, other banks, via telephone or direct dealing machine and that during each session one team member will act as a voice broker, one as a position keeper and electronic trader and the third as a chief dealer. Candidates switch throughout the course to ensure each plays every role.