DMU's Trading Floor declared open by Mattioli Woods

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art Trading Floor at a special event in the Hugh Aston Building on Wednesday (31 January).

The opening marks a significant advancement in the university's commitment to providing students with cutting-edge facilities for hands-on learning in the fields of Economics, Finance, and Accounting.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Katie Normington with Managing Director of Client Investment Proposition at Mattioli Woods Dean Cheeseman and COO of Mattioli Woods Iain McKenzie 

The university’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Katie Normington welcomed our generous sponsor Mattioli Woods, members of our BAL advisory Board, and other leading financial firms including Tradeview Markets and Welford Investments LTD. The occasion was marked in true Wall Street style by declaring this new teaching space open with the ringing of the trading bell.

Replacing the previous Trading Room, the new Trading Floor comprises 48 dual-screen terminals each with access to the latest Bloomberg and LSEG software to give our students an authentic simulation of real-world financial trading and investing.  

Funded by a £370,000 investment from Leicester Castle Business School, the facility also boasts two 86-inch teaching screens, two ticker-tape displays sharing live news headlines, six TV screens showing Bloomberg News and increased capacity, making it one of the largest university trading facilities of its kind in the UK.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Katie Normington said: This is a really great space and thank you to all of those who helped us pull this space together.

“This fits into our mission as The Empowering University to make sure we are enabling our people from whatever background to achieve their full potential. 

“Very traditionally, finance and economics have been perhaps seen as a male-dominated area. Here at DMU, around 30 per cent of our students are female in our economics department, 60 per cent come from a low economic background and 62 per cent come from ethnic minorities, so this investment will help open up careers to them they may have traditionally missed out on.

“I’m very proud of the achievement this represents and the impact this will have on people’s lives as we continue to train and shape the city’s wider workforce.”

From left to right: Dr Wansu Hu of DMU, Iain McKenzie, Vice-Chancellor Professor Katie Normington, Dean Cheeseman and Sarah Thomson of DMU

The opening of the Trading Floor marked a welcome return to DMU for alumnus Iain McKenzie, who studied a Design Management course and is now Chief Operating Officer of Mattioli Woods, which has its headquarters five minutes’ walk from the university.

Trading Room Sponsor Mattioli Woods has a strong and enduring relationship with DMU, and to support the Trading Room and its vision, mission and values has donated £10,000, providing a Made From More scholarship, DMU Global trip for two students and three Named Prizes for Top Performers.

Prior to cutting the ribbon, Mr McKenzie emphasised that: For me, the Trading Floor is more than just a university investment, it taps into a city-wide initiative to attract and retain top talent into Leicester. A facility like this can help drive the future of the local economy.”

He later added: Our shared core values with DMU, in developing, nurturing, and empowering talent, are deeply embedded in this project. It's a reflection of our shared vision and commitment to making a real difference to Leicester and the East Midlands where we can aspire to attract, train, and retain top talent to the city, a place they can then call home.”

For Jasleen Sahota, a 22-year-old Business Management and Finance student, the new Trading Floor will prepare her for the challenges and pace of working in the industry.

She said: “The Trading Floor provides me with invaluable hands-on experience in finance and real-time data analysis, mirroring the fast-paced environment of the real world.

“Collaborating with peers in a supportive environment enhances my technical skills and fosters research opportunities. Engaging in trading competitions provides a platform to apply theoretical knowledge, preparing me for a successful career in finance and making my university experience both productive and rewarding.”

During the event a demonstration of the Bloomberg and LSEG software was given by lecturers from the department, along with an insight in to trading floor challenges and investments.

The launch was rounded off with a speech from the Head of Equities at Tradeview Markets, Mike Lombardo, who shared his envy at the learning environment the students would have, confidently predicting: The next great trading strategy will be devised in this room!”

“This room is going to shape the financial careers of so many students. For those from DMU who, in the future, may become brokers, traders or portfolio managers, there is so much that this room can offer.

“I’d like to thank the Vice-Chancellor and the entire administration here for deciding to invest in such a valuable idea.”

Mike Lombardo of Tradeview Markets

In order to properly and fairly support our students we have set an ambitious target of raising £100,000 per year, to provide a mix of Prizes for top performers, inspirational DMU Global Trips to stock-exchanges and financial institutions around the world, and scholarship support.

Any donation you make will leave a lasting impact on the lives of our students; We welcome having discussions with possible corporate/individual donors who wish to support this student opportunity and development, providing further support and information on each package that is on offer for sponsorship. – To read more about this opportunity see the following case for support.

Those interested in making a lasting impact contact Paisley Tomlinson at or 07870560543.

Posted on Monday 5 February 2024

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