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FINCAD Names Nora Irene Ghartey as Winner of its 2020 Women in Finance Scholarship
By Diana Tang | August 5, 2020

Drumroll please… It is my greatest pleasure to announce that we have selected a winner for this year’s Women in Finance Scholarship! Nora Irene Ghartey, a native of Ghana and exceptionally talented young woman, will use the award money to pursue a MSc degree in Financial Mathematics at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE). 

At FINCAD, we are committed to helping talented women pursue graduate studies and enter careers in Finance, which have historically been non-traditional to women. The FINCAD Women in Finance Scholarship acknowledges outstanding women aspiring to secure employment in financial asset management, market risk management and derivatives finance within the capital markets. One accomplished woman is chosen annually to receive the US$20,000 award to apply towards an advanced Finance degree. We take immense pride in helping accelerate the winner’s successful path into the financial industry. This is especially important to us as we face an uncertain and turbulent macroeconomic environment due to the global pandemic.

“This year we saw a 65% increase in applications for FINCAD’s Women in Finance Scholarship, resulting in an exceptionally large pool of outstanding candidates,” commented Mark D’Arcy, CEO (Interim) of FINCAD. “It is an honor to be a part of this process, although this year’s decision-making has been particularly difficult, as the caliber of these talented individuals is awe-inspiring and overwhelming. I am confident we will see many of our applicants in the years to come on the cover of industry periodicals leading positive change in the financial industry.” 

In addition to researching
derivatives, our winner, Nora,
enjoys putting her own spin
on traditional recipes.

This year’s winner, Nora Ghartey, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree, with honors, in Actuarial Science from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Nora first developed a keen interest in mathematics in high school. “I was captivated with calculations that involved solving real-world business problems,” said Nora. 

As part of Nora’s bachelor’s degree program, her research focused on finding optimal hedging strategies using option Greeks and other financial instruments. “Once I took the derivatives course in my final year as an undergraduate, I became intrigued with derivative pricing models. My research project for this course combined algorithmic differentiation and the dual number system with the Black Scholes model in JULIA to compute option greeks,” Nora remarked. 

Nora explained that her coursework opened her eyes to how a well-functioning derivatives market could contribute positively to the financial sector of a country. “This research awakened me to the power of integrating different mathematical techniques into large financial models to improve efficiency,” Nora added. 

Nora is currently participating in the career accelerator program, Yielding Accomplished African Women (Yaa W), a step that will enable her to obtain certifications as both a Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA) and a Capital Market and Securities Analyst (CMSA). She begins her coursework at LSE in September. 

“My advice to other women in my field is—dream big and dare to be different! My education has shown me how sound financial markets contribute to the stability and resiliency of an economy. My dream and goal is to bring greater strength to Ghana’s economy through spearheading the introduction of derivative markets.” 

Are you, or is someone you know, interested in applying for this scholarship opportunity? If so, check back with our FINCAD Women in Finance Scholarship web page in Spring 2021 for more details on applying next year. Please note that the scholarship opportunity is open to women of any citizenship who are studying Finance in an accredited graduate-level or PhD program. 

About the author
Diana Tang
Diana Tang
Senior Financial Engineer | FINCAD

In her role, Diana is focused on UAT (User Acceptance Testing) with an emphasis on aligning FINCAD’s product roadmap and providing end-to-end testing for FINCAD’s cloud-based solutions. She has worked at FINCAD for more than five years. Before joining FINCAD, Diana served as a Financial Risk Analyst in a Toronto-based firm. Diana holds a B.Sc. from East China Normal University and a Master of Mathematics in Actuarial Science from the University of Waterloo.