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Bermuda Institute teams top KPMG Challenge

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The best: members of the top teams in the KPMG Investment challenge at the awards’ presentation, which was attended by Wayne Scott, education minister

It’s been a tough six months for investors of every stripe, and that includes the school teams in this year’s KPMG Investment Challenge.

Only three of the 18 teams managed to finish with a profit after investing a virtual $100,000 on the stock market during the past six months.

Bermuda Institute took the two top spots, with the “Investables” growing their investments by 2.56 per cent, to $102,557. Reflecting how tricky the trading environment has been, the team was helped to their winning total by a technology stock that soared 89 per cent.

Meanwhile, the school’s second-placed team, “Profit Bulls,” banked a profit of $545, or 0.55 per cent, while third-placed “Gold Label Investors,” from Berkeley Institute were $36 up, or 0.04 per cent.

Bermuda Institute collected $10,000 for winning. In accordance with the rules, as the school also came second the runner-up cash prize of $6,000 went to the next school on the list, which was Berkeley, while the third prize of $4,000 was awarded to fourth-placed “Somersfield Sharks,” of Somersfield Academy.

Somersfield was also the youngest team in the competition.

The contest was followed on a regular basis by The Royal Gazette. Students were able to utilise the StockTrack portfolio management system to make their trades, giving teams the opportunity to buy and sell their stocks in real time with full control of their investment portfolios through an interactive online investment programme. KPMG staff volunteered their time as mentors, advising and assisting the students.

Steve Woodward, a managing director with KPMG in Bermuda, said the investment challenge was a way to get students interested in investing and encourage them to pursue careers in accounting and the financial world.

He said some of the students who had taken part in the challenge programme since it started 11 years ago had ended up securing jobs with KPMG.

The contest was dreamt up by KPMG’s Craig Bridgewater and Steve Green in the mid-2000s, and quickly grew from a six-team competition to one that spans the island’s public and private senior schools, and includes Somersfield.

Wanda Armstrong, KPMG’s human resources manager, said: “It has proved really popular, and it opens up opportunities for students. Some of them get summer internships from the different investment companies involved and also with KPMG.”

At the awards’ presentation in the Society of Arts Centre, at City Hall, Wayne Scott, Minister for Education, congratulated the students for their efforts and thanked KPMG for the planning it has put in to the competition that has provided a learning experience for students over the past 11 years.

Winners: Bermuda Institute’s “Investables” and “Profit Bulls” were first and second in the KPMG Investment Challenge and won $10,000 for their school
Top team: members of Bermuda Institute’s “Investables” team which was first in the KPMG Investment Challenge. Also pictured is Wayne Scott, education minister, and KPMG’s Wanda Armstrong and Steve Woodward