Financial Lab Enjoys a 'Power Lunch' on National News Show

Hanlon Facility Called 'One of the Most Advanced' Places to Train for a Wall Street Career

4/9/2014

The Hanlon Financial Systems Lab has attracted plenty of attention since it opened in 2012, but it got a particularly large audience last week, when it played a starring role on CNBC’s afternoon “Power Lunch” program.

CNBC markets reporter Dominic Chu visited the Hoboken campus with a camera crew, calling the Hanlon Lab “one of the most advanced Wall Street training programs in the world.” The lab is used by students in the Howe School of Technology Management as they use cutting-edge software to run simulations, do due diligence on companies, create algorithms and generally be prepared for the technology-driven jobs awaiting them at major financial employers across the Hudson River.

“This floor here, this facility, was built to duplicate what they will find when they get on the trading floor of Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan,” said Dr. George Calhoun, Howe School professor and director of the undergraduate Quantitative Finance program.

The QF program at Stevens explores the impact of rapidly changing technology on the financial world, including how high-frequency trading is shaping the industry and how regulators have responded.

Learn more about the Stevens QF major

Stevens students enjoy a number of benefits through the use of the lab. For junior QF major Chase Greenberg, the lab put an important distinction on his résumé that helped him land an internship.

“You now get Bloomberg certification in your freshman year, which looks really good on a résumé,” Greenberg said. “When I was an intern, they didn’t have to sit down and talk me through how to use Bloomberg — I could just go right on, which made them very happy.”

That’s even more important as the industry becomes increasingly digital, said Dr. Eleni Gousgounis, an assistant professor at Howe.

“We expect more and more that trading will be only electronic, so it’s very important that they have good technological skills,” Gousgounis said.

Additional faculty were featured on the program, including Drs. Ionut Florescu and Khaldoun Khashanah of Stevens’ School of Systems and Enterprises, and several students.

The lab offers state-of-the-art software, such as Barra and OneTick, along with Bloomberg terminals, high-powered GPU cards, and instruction in financial and analytics software, which helps distinguish Stevens’ graduate degree in Business Intelligence and Analytics.

Sue Herena, a co-host of “Power Lunch,” said a familiarity with such programs would present solid job opportunities for newly minted graduates looking for work on Wall Street.

“If high-speed trading is going to be part of your bread and butter at a firm, you want the youngest, most nimble and best educated people to be in your firm,” she said on the air.

It's only the Howe School's most recent appearance on the program. Recently, Calhoun was interviewed by the network about the role of algorithms in high-speed trading.