On Wednesday 7 March The Mercers’ Company and Z/Yen Group hosted a finance and business day in the City for 55 A-Level students from 10 schools across the Midlands and South East England. Almost all the students were studying either economics, business, science or a combination of all three.
The objective of the day was to introduce the students to some of the City’s institutions and activities. With that in mind, the day was planned around an investment game in the morning, followed by a visit to the Bank of England Museum and a tour of Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML).
Z/Yen has run its investment games for Prince Charles at St James’s Palace, The Home Office and every spring and summer during our river trips on the Lady Daphne with clients and associates. This time we were in the opulent surroundings of Mercers’ Hall and created two markets, A and B, with 6 investment teams in each made up of A level students from a mixture of schools.
From the off, collusion and rumour spreading were tactics adopted by all, with team members roaming the room each round to try to work out how the others were playing it. Michael’s introduction, which touched on “market sentiment” had hit home, and by round 4 two teams in market B had streaked ahead. The leading team managed to hold on to the top spot in the final round, after some epic agonising over what their final investment should be.
Short presentations from Michael and Mark Yeandle at Z/Yen were interspersed between rounds, including a talk on the history of the City of London, the role of global financial centres and London’s prospects for the future and ExtZy and trading.
After prize giving and a buffet lunch served in the grand dining hall of Mercers’ the students headed to the Bank of England Museum. Then it was on to Bank of America where our hosts took us on a tour of the building before having a short presentation about the opportunities for the students to take up work placements.
The students departed with a “goody bag” of information about their day and all of the teachers received a complimentary copy of Michael and Ian’s latest book, The Price of Fish, for their school libraries. It was a really rewarding (if tiring!) day for all the Z/Yen staff who took part – Geraldine, Linda, Michael, Mark, Stephanie, Jez and Nick – and big thanks go to Geraldine for all of the work she put in to organising it. We really enjoyed the day and hope the students did too.