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Economy in Practice: Students Trained as Certified Derivatives Traders for the First Time

Practical teaching: at the University of Bremen, prospective economists have successfully passed the examination to become a certified derivatives trader of Deutsche Börse AG for the first time. The special training is part of the economist Professor Lars Hornuf’s course.

Maurice Lautner is more than satisfied. He has been studying business administration for six semesters in the bachelor’s program and will soon be holding his degree in his hands. But then he is more than a well-trained business administration graduate: since the successful finals on September 25, 2019, Lautner has also been able to present a certificate from Deutsche Börse, which identifies him as a certified derivatives trader. “This was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss,” says the 23-year-old. “I could acquire this additional qualification as part of a course, was taught everything, and still saved a lot of money in the end because I was exempt from paying the course fee.”

Theory and Practice in One Course

Like Maurice Lautner, another five economics students obtained the certificate, which will enable them to work in an exciting sector of the financial industry in the future. This was made possible by a recently sealed cooperation between the University of Bremen and the Capital Markets Academy of Deutsche Börse AG. “This cooperation means that our students receive very practical training – an approach that the university and the Faculty of Business Studies & Economics are consistently pursuing,” says Hornuf. He initiated the cooperation and taught the students the basics and tricks of the trade of the special segment in his regular course “Finanzderivate und Optionen.”

“The students have thus acquired a first-class and demanding additional professional qualification,” says Hornuf. The focus of the training was on imparting specialist knowledge about trading on the futures exchange. In addition to theoretical basic knowledge on options and futures, advanced trading strategies were analyzed and their practical applications discussed. “Students are now able to develop and test their own trading strategies. They had to prove this in the Capital Markets Academy’s final examination,” says the economist.

The passed final examination, together with an online training course by the Capital Markets Academy on the trading system, is recognized as a professional qualification when admitted as an exchange trader on the Eurex futures exchange.

Examination Fee Donated to the Best Three Students

Bringing theory and practice together has already proven its worth in the past: Deutsche Börse’s Capital Markets Academy has been working successfully with several universities for some time now. For the stock exchange operator, the focus is on the quality of training and the promotion of young talent in the financial sector. As Professor of Business Administration, Lars Hornuf specializes in financial services and financial technology and is highly regarded in the financial industry for his significant publications. The cooperation presented itself – and did not go unnoticed in Bremen either: the Stiftung Bremer Wertpapierbörse was so pleased with the implementation of the training in the university’s teaching that it paid the examination fee of 235 euros for the three best students.

What Are Financial Derivatives?

Financial derivatives are classic financial products that are, however, not as public as shares or funds. “They are securities derived from underlying assets such as shares or commodities,” explains Lars Hornuf. “The most common are warrants, reverse convertibles, swaps, futures, and certificates. They are used on the financial market, for example, to ‘insure’ equity portfolios against risks – but also as an object of speculation, because in the event of success you can achieve a high return with relatively little financial investment.” Just as a farmer can insure his crop against loss of earnings due to bad weather by taking out insurance, investors can also use derivatives to hedge their portfolios against loss of earnings if developments are unfavorable. Hornuf: “If the ‘harvest’ is successful – whether on the farmer’s or the investor’s side – the insurance will of course not work, so the derivatives can become worthless. Just like household contents insurance is paid ‘in vain’ if no loss has occurred in the contract year.”

Increasing Demand for Specialists

The university lecturer is convinced that the new additional training can become an important component in the economic teaching of the university: “The financial industry is changing more and more. Many financial products tend to be handled in the background. In the case of the so-called Facebook currency Libra, for example, users will not know exactly how it works at the end of the day – for example, that a so-called blockchain is important. The financial products simply work without the technology in the background having to be understood by the users.” There will increasingly be a need for specialists who are familiar with financial technology, software, interfaces, and the corresponding financial products – “and I believe that with our current and practice-oriented training as certified derivatives traders, we are making an important contribution to ensuring that these specialists also come from the University of Bremen.”

Further Information:


Professor Lars Hornuf
Professorship for Business Administration, in particular Financial Services and Financial Technology
Faculty of Business Studies & Economics
University of Bremen
Tel. +49 421 218-66820



Ready, set, go: students of the Faculty of Business Studies & Economics take the online exam to become a certified derivatives trader. Photo: Kai Uwe Bohn / University of Bremen