The competition will be conducted in two phases as follows:
• Phase One (From 13 July until 29 September 2017)
The first phase of the Competition starts on Thursday, the 13th of July 2017 and will last until Friday, the 29th of September 2017. Instructions to commence will be forwarded to all participating teams on the 5th of July 2017. Participating banks will run their bank for a total of four quarters (one financial year). Teams will on average make one decision every two weeks.
The first quarter is typically required to get familiar with the simulation program. This means getting to know the market conditions, the economic environment and to judge the consequences of decisions. During the next three quarters the bank’s chosen strategy can be implemented and optimized in order to enhance shareholder value.
All competing banks start with the same portfolio of Assets and Liabilities and with the same share price. The teams will run their own “virtual” bank in a challenging business environment. Teams will have to decide on their own strategy and have to make decisions with regard to asset and liability management, portfolio mix, funding sources, marketing, branch network, etc.
Prior to the start of the competition the competing teams will receive pre-reading documents to review in order to start their preparations for the competition. On the 13th of July the teams will be briefed by the main facilitator of the competition via a webinar. The main facilitator for the first phase of the competition will be Ziegfried Vermaak, CEO of SimArch. He will be supported by a team that will answer queries and that will assist in order to ensure that all decisions are correctly processed. The introduction webinar will be recorded for anyone to review afterwards should they not be able to attend the original introduction.
After each of the four quarters, teams will be briefed on the performance of the industry as well as by the Central Bank Governor. The Central Bank will provide a quarterly economic review and will also reflect on monetary policy from time to time. All this information will be communicated via webinar (virtual classroom). Participating teams will receive detailed information on how to attend the virtual classroom session once they have registered for the competition. All webinars are recorded for later viewing or download.
After the final quarter, quarter four, the overall performance of all banks will be assessed. From each group a top performer will be identified. The criteria for selection will be based on the following weightings:
• Share Price at the end of quarter four 40%
• Strategy implementation and objectives reached 20%
• Assessment of Risk Management 40%
As a result of their performance, the winners of the four groups are then entitled to take part in the second phase of the competition. The top four banks will also be invited to The Hague, The Netherlands where the final quarter will be conducted at the end of Phase Two.
• Phase Two (From 5 October to 24 November 2017)
Phase Two of the competition will be conducted as follows: The four top banks will start with a new set of financials and a new economic environment. All banks start anew and no results from the first phase of the competition will be taken into account. Two quarters will be run and facilitated online, starting on 5 October and ending on 3 November 2017. The final quarter, quarter 3, will be run at the FMO office in The Hague on the 23rd and 24th of November 2017. At FMO, the four banks will present to their ‘Supervisory Boards’ after which the ultimate winner will be announced. There will also be a prize for the bank that managed risks optimally.
The detailed program for the two days will be communicated to the participating banks after the end of the first phase (October 2017).
Methodology followed during the online competition
In order to partake in the online competition effectively no special equipment or software are required. All that is required is a computer (desktop or laptop) with highspeed internet access. Communication, access, instructions, documentation, feedback, audios, videos and manuals will all be available via a specifically designed Simulations Portal. The Simulations Portal can be accessed with a unique Username and Password via the website of SimArch.
At the start of the competition participating banks will receive a detailed briefing that will outline the methodology and logistics that will be required and utilized during the competition. As explained, this will all be done via webinar. Some people call this web conferencing because of the web + phone sharing. The webinar will be delivered to participating banks using the Citrix platform, used by SimArch for this purpose. It is a great way to communicate with people in other locations, using VoIP. Through the Citrix platform everyone participating can see the same presentation and application as the facilitator talks. All you need is a computer with speakers and a microphone should you wish to talk with the facilitator. VoIP or Internet calling lets participants join from their computer, using a computer headset with a microphone and speaker.
Participating banks will be invited to participate via email. Participating banks do not have to subscribe to Citrix and no special software is required. They simply click a link in their invitation to join the SimArch facilitator online, where they’ll get visual prompts to join the web/phone conference using VoIP. A conference call-in number provides a single number for participants to call to join the webinar. Documents, presentations and the ALM Simulator (application) will be shared and communicated in this way. During the webinar, interaction is also encouraged with easy-to-use tools, including interactive questions and answering. All webinar sessions will be recorded for future reference or review. After a webinar a link to the recording will be made available to all participating banks for self-paced viewing.
After each decision, feedback (debrief of results) will be given by the Central Bank concerning the performance of the industry as a whole, the latest view on Monetary and Economic Policy and various regulations that apply. All this will enable participants to make decisions for the coming and subsequent quarters.
Participating banks will enjoy support from the Support Team of SimArch via a dedicated email address.