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UCT students score financial maths challenge win

University of Cape Town (UCT) master's in Mathematical Finance students, Cole van Jaarsveld and Bandile Mbele, have helped their international team clinch a coveted trophy at the annual Financial Mathematics Team Challenge (FMTC).
The winning team included UCT financial maths master’s students Bandile Mbele (left, front) and Cole van Jaarsveldt (centre).
The team, which consisted of four members including two UCT representatives, solved an investment problem for a Zurich private markets firm. They worked on a solution for optimal investment timing in illiquid private markets, a problem posed by Zurich firm StepStone.

In its fifth year, the challenge was held in Cape Town recently. It required a combination of the talents of students and practitioners to find solutions to some of the finance industry’s most pressing problems.

Professor David Taylor, director of UCT’s African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk said: “The FMTC also brought international researchers to UCT, providing a glimpse of the dynamic environment developing at our institute”. Teams included master’s and PhD students from University College London, Oxford University and ETH Zurich. Each team had seven days to come up with solutions and two days of presentations before the winner was chosen.

For more information abour the FMTC, visit