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Looking for a savvy trader? Check their gaming scores

Sean McCormack
Sean McCormack

Can playing “Super Mario Bros.” indicate someone's investment capabilities?

Not really. But a gaming platform developed by Stockfuse Inc., New York, allows students and prospective employees at financial services firms to conduct risk-free simulated trading through an electronic game. It also allows those firms to see a wide array of behavioral and engagement data from the players, providing a way to tap a broader talent pool that historically has been gleaned from a few select universities and through networking.

“This is different from playing "World of Warcraft,'” said Sean McCormack, CEO and co-founder of Stockfuse. “You don't necessarily want someone who's good at "Super Mario Bros.' to manage your money.”

The Stockfuse platform differs from other stock-trading programs and academic trading clubs by allowing participants to execute trades through social media similar to Twitter and Facebook, using social gaming techniques that are “second nature” to students and young adults, Mr. McCormack said.

“The program applies social media and other tools to track the thought process and rationale of the players,” Mr. McCormack said. “It provides more data than the firms could ever find on their own. Plus it's fun.”

Two firms — investment bank Barclays and hedge fund consultant Aksia — already use the platform. Patrick Adelsbach, partner and co-founder of Aksia, said the program allows the firm “to identify talented students at the 99% of universities that we can't reach via on-campus recruiting.”

This article originally appeared in the September 21, 2015 print issue as, "Looking for a savvy trader? Check their gaming scores".