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The ICMA Centre, University of Reading, UK

In 1991, ICMA (then known as ISMA) embarked on what has become a tremendously successful venture in the field of financial markets education. The Association sponsored a professorship in investment banking at the University of Reading in the UK, which led to the creation of the ICMA Centre. Today, the Centre has become internationally recognised as The Business School for Financial Markets. In line with the name change of the Association to ICMA in July 2005, the Centre was renamed the 'ICMA Centre' from the start of the academic year 2005.

The Centre's first responsibility was to provide the tuition expertise for ICMA's GCP (now FIC) and OCP programmes. Since then, it has grown to become one of the world's major centres of academic excellence in the study of financial markets. Students from all over the globe now participate, not only in these short professional courses, but also in full-time programmes leading to formal academic qualifications at BSc, MSc and doctorate level.

The Centre's first postgraduate programme, the MSc in International Securities, Investment and Banking, began in 1994. The Centre has recently launched four new masters degrees - MSc Financial Risk Management, MSc Investment Management, MSc Capital Markets, Regulation and Compliance and MSc Finance and Real Estate. A highly successful undergraduate programme has been running since October 1997, now called the BSc in Finance and Investment Banking.

The ICMA Centre also offers a range of finance workshops for market professionals including Market VaR, Options, Repo, Foreign Exchange and Money Markets which can be customised for individual organisations.     

The ICMA Centre celebrated the opening of its new state-of-the-art facilities on 28 January 2009. The inauguration ceremony was attended by more than 200 guests from all over the world, as well as staff and alumni.

The new building was officially opened by guests of honour, René Karsenti, Executive President, International Capital Market Association, Susan Taylor-Martin, Managing Director & SCO, UK & Ireland, Thomson Reuters and Alexis Lautenberg, Swiss Ambassador to the UK.
The new building includes a 40-seat Thomson Reuters dealing room, making the ICMA Centre the largest training facility of its kind in Europe. The dealing room runs the latest Thomson Reuters feeds on four plasma screens and there is also a ticker tape running the financial information in the atrium.
The new extension links to the 1998 ICMA Centre itself and houses a 185-seat lecture theatre, seminar room, media centre and dedicated research area.  The latest AV equipment allows for live streaming of lectures and podcasts and there is a dedicated career development office.
Professor John Board said "We are all delighted that our new facilities surpass expectations and are now ready for use by our students.  Our new building was generously funded by the International Capital Market Association and reinforces their belief in the University and, of course, in the importance of education - particularly at a time when both the economy and the finance industry face so many challenges."

Creating careers

The graduate and postgraduate courses on offer at the Centre have been designed with financial careers firmly in mind and provide an academically rigorous programme of education combined with financial training delivered by recognised industry practitioners, academics and consultants.

A sound investment

The investment made by ICMA in providing its FMFQ, IFIQ, IPMQ, SOFQ, PMC, FIC and OCP programmes, and in its support for the ICMA Centre, brings tangible returns to the Association's members.

Every year, the membership is sent resumes of all candidates participating in its academic programmes, many of which subsequently choose to begin and continue their careers with ICMA firms. In this way, banks and securities houses can benefit directly from the expertise and knowledge learnt by their new recruits at the Centre.

ICMA members also benefit from the academic expertise available at the Centre through the various research reports it has produced at the Association's request. Over the years, reports have provided knowledge and comment in important areas such as risk management, the effect of derivatives on the international securities market and the introduction of the European single currency.

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