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K-State Today

March 30, 2018

K-State risk management students finish in second place in 2018 CME Group Trading Challenge

Submitted by Jennifer Merrill

Pictured left to right: Trenton Covington, Del Adcock, Nils Bergsten, and Kyle Rogers

Kansas State University juniors and Center for Risk Management Education and Research student fellows finished in second place out of 531 teams in the 2018 CME Group Trading Challenge.

The team, led by Del Adcock, agricultural economics major from Assumption, Illinois, also included Nils Bergsten, agribusiness major from Holton; Trenton Covington, agribusiness major from Kearney, Missouri; and Kyle Rogers, finance major from Overland Park.

The competition, sponsored by CME Group — the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, provides student teams with the experience of trading a variety of products using live data on a real-time professional trading platform. More than 2,100 students from 264 universities across 37 countries competed in this year's competition.

Teams started the competition with $100,000 in their account. For four weeks, teams were required to execute a minimum of 10 trade contracts per day of specified products while maintaining proper margin rates and avoiding costly penalties. Products teams could trade on the market platform included a variety of agriculture, energy, metal and foreign exchange futures.

Adcock, Bergsten, Covington and Rogers advanced to the final round of the top 10 percent of teams after finishing 49th in the preliminary round with an ending account balance of $127,760. In the final round, the team started with $250,000 and finished with an ending account balance of $533,910 in just two weeks of trading.

The team was hopeful they would finish in the top 5 after closing out remaining crude oil contracts with a balance of $530,000 before market close on the final day of trading.

"The ability to compete in a contest with students around the globe is a special opportunity," Adcock said. "We got to trade in real time and we did our best to capitalize on events and reports that are market changing. Our experiences at K-State have given us insight and the ability to understand and break down information we read in USDA and Department of Energy reports as well as further understand and capitalize on any technical trends we see in given commodities."

Teams of K-State CRMER student fellows have been competing in the annual CME Group Trading Challenge for several years; this is the first time a team from K-State has finished in the top five. Second-place winners, Adcock, Bergsten, Covington and Rogers each won a $1,000 cash prize from the CME Group. The team looks forward to attending and being recognized at CME Group's Day of Market Education conference next month in Chicago.

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