Articles Written By: André Mansi

Chancellor’s Awards Celebratory Reception

We are very proud of four of our ICMA Centre undergraduates who were honoured at this annual celebration hosted by the Chancellor, Sir John Madejski.

This was a fitting opportunity to mark the achievements of 70 of the University’s most talented students who achieved top marks in their School or subject area during the last academic year.

Included in these were ICMA Centre students Amy Ho and Juvereya Shoab who are now in their second year and Yihan Zhou and Aaron Lam who are finalists.

The Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, congratulated the very best and highest academically achieving students and welcomed the Chancellor who was extremely pleased to celebrate the success of these students. Each recipient of the Chancellor’s Award is featured in a specially designed and created yearbook which they received during the Awards Reception along with a bespoke University pin-badge.

Many congratulations from all at the ICMA Centre to Amy, Juvereya, Yihan and Aaron!

Meet the Tutor event a success

Meet the Tutor eventAnother annual event took place at the ICMA Centre recently to help new and returning students to settle back into university life.

Students from all programmes and many different countries gathered together at the ICMA Centre to meet their tutor over a drink and light buffet. Postgraduates mixed with undergraduates, including ERASMUS students from Bucharest and Venice, to make the occasion most memorable. Many new friends were made and common interests discovered at this popular event as staff mingled with students.

In a record year, it certainly seemed to be the most populated the building has ever been and whilst it poured down with rain outside, everyone was having the best of times inside the ICMA Centre.

Long may it continue!

More photographs from the event can be found on our facebook page.

Research success for ICMA Centre lecturer

The ICMA Centre’s Dr Ioannis Oikonomou has reason to look fondly on 2012 as he has experienced two significant academic successes in recent months, which are bringing wider recognition across Europe to the research he is undertaking.

In early 2012 Dr Oikonomou’s project, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility and Credit Costs’ was awarded a highly prestigious grant by the Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany. The Strengthening Efficiency and Competitiveness in the European Knowledge Economies (or SEEK) grant is worth approximately €150,000 and aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of policy rationales, the design of appropriate policy instruments as well as their effectiveness and efficiency.

The awarded project, a collaborative effort with Professor Michael Schroder, Dr Andreas Hoepner and Professor Bert Scholtens, is an international investigation of the effects of Corporate Social Responsibility on the cost of corporate loans. “As our work on this project falls in the intersection between business and society, it meets the overall objectives of the SEEK grant perfectly which made the committee very keen to invest in the research” said Dr Oikonomou.

The second success of 2012 for Dr Oikonomou is the awarding, in the previous month, of his thesis, ‘Empirical Investigations of the Relationship between Corporate Social and Financial Performance’ with the Best Thesis in Finance and Sustainability European Research Award for 2012. This award is administered by the French Social Investment Forum and the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and is worth €5,000.

The PRI is a network of international investors working together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment (link to the principles) into practice. Their interest in Dr Oikonomou’s thesis is a wonderful testament to the work he has done and demonstrates the potential for his research to develop into practical financial applications across institutions in Europe and further afield.

Dr Oikonomou was presented with his award at a ceremony in Paris in September. The event was covered by a variety of media including renowned French newspaper Le Monde for which Dr Oikonomou gave an interview.

Welcome Day 2012

We were really pleased to welcome our 19th postgraduate student cohort to the ICMA Centre last Friday. Even the sun came out as if to celebrate the arrival of our new students who had arrived from 38 different countries.

This was the largest postgraduate student group to date, numbering 329 – a far cry from the 74 students who joined us in 1994. With eight MSc degrees now on offer, the MSc International Securities, Investment and Banking is still the most popular programme with one third of the students choosing to study this particular degree.

The students were welcomed to the Centre by Professor Adrian Bell, Head of the ICMA Centre, as well as by the Dean of Henley Business School, Professor John Board. This year there was a special presentation made to the students by Martin Scheck, Chief Executive of ICMA in Zurich in which he gave an overview of the standards of market practice, explained the supportive relationship between the two organisations and commented on the major market themes present in the finance industry following the financial crisis of 2008.

After receiving all their study materials for Part 1 of their programmes the students returned to the serious business of Freshers’ Week and preparing for their first lectures of a unique educational experience which hopefully will lead to their career goals.

We wish all our new students good luck in their studies over the next academic year and are confident that their experience at the ICMA Centre will be most memorable.

New faculty members welcomed

Staff from the ICMA CentreThis academic year the ICMA Centre is very pleased to welcome three new members of faculty – Dr Nadia Kappou, Ogonna Nneji and Miriam Marra.

Dr Nadia Kappou

After having worked in the finance industry for seven years, Nadia joined the ICMA Centre on a full time basis in July 2012.

In the City, Nadia has worked as an equity derivatives trader for Credit Suisse, London and also as a commodity derivatives marketer for Credit Suisse-Glencore Alliance.

After studying Banking and Financial Management at the University of Piraeus in Greece, Nadia went on to gain an MSc in International Securities, Investment and Banking from the ICMA Centre followed by a PhD in Finance. She has taught on commodity and shipping derivatives on postgraduate programmes for a number of years.

Nadia has been involved in various projects within the shipping industry and has carried out research focusing on index tracking strategies and ETF’s which has been published in established financial journals as well as been presented at conferences worldwide.

Ogonna Nneji

After studying Economics and Finance at the University of Bristol and gaining an MSc in Finance and Investment from the University of Exeter, Ogonna studied for a PhD in Finance at the ICMA Centre where he has now been appointed as a Lecturer in Finance.

Ogonna has taught at a postgraduate level in Real Estate Finance and Securities, Futures and Options and is now convenor of the module Quantitative Methods for Finance at the ICMA Centre.

His experience in the finance industry includes working as an M&A Summer Analyst in HSBC Global Banking & Markets, a Research Summer Analyst in Olympia Capital Management and a Quantitative Summer Analyst in CQS Management.

His primary research interests include applied financial econometrics, asset bubbles and real estate finance/economics. He has presented his work at numerous leading finance and real estate conferences around the world, including the 2012 Financial Management Association (FMA) in Istanbul. His most recent work has focused on bubble contagion and spillovers across markets and regions.

Miriam Marra

Prior to joining the ICMA Centre as Lecturer in Finance, Miriam was a Teaching Fellow at Warwick Business School where she taught in Corporate Finance as well as acting as Tutor to several other finance modules.

She holds a BSc in Economics and an MA in International Economics from the University of Tor Vergata (Rome) as well as an MSc in Economics and Finance from Warwick Business School.

Her research interests are primarily in the areas of Asset Pricing and Liquidity, Credit Risk, Empirical Finance, Financial Crisis and Contagion, and Market Microstructure.

Miriam has presented her work on “Illiquidity Commonality across Equity and Credit Markets” in several workshops and conferences throughout Europe. She is also working on detecting illiquidity effects on credit default swaps and synthetic CDOs, testing structural models for default risk in credit derivative markets, developing the research on debt and credit derivative microstructure, and investigating issues related to downside risk and investors’ uncertainty in financial markets.

Adrian Bell announced as ICMA Centre Head of School

From 1 August 2012, Professor Adrian Bell will take over as Head of ICMA Centre. Adrian is well known to graduates of the ICMA Centre having been a member of staff since 1994 and has been involved with every group of BSc, MSc and PhD students since.

For many years Adrian was Director of Teaching and Learning, and for the last year has been Head of Pre-Experience Postgraduate Programmes across Henley Business School.

Adrian will continue his research into the History of Finance – currently with Chris Brooks and Tony Moore into Medieval FX markets; and Football finance!  For a recent opinion piece on medieval rate fixing see a piece written for Bloomberg.

Adrian’s most recent media appearance was on BBC Radio 4′s The Long View, where he was joined by Nick Leeson, the rogue trader who brought down Barings Bank; former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Sir John Gieve; John Coggan of the Economist and Performance poet, Attila the Stockbroker. You can listen to this broadcast on the BBC’s iPlayer.

How to Apply

Full-Time MSc Applications
Applications for 2014 entry are open for all programmes.

The ICMA Centre operates on a rolling admissions basis, meaning that prospective students can apply for our programmes throughout the year, however we do advise to apply early in the year. We aim to return a decision within 4-6 weeks of receiving your application.

Full-time applicants can apply online.


Is there an application fee?
Yes, there is a £30 application fee (one charge regardless of how many courses you apply for). You can pay this by card at (please contact us if you require details of alternative payment methods).

Can I apply for more than one course?
Yes, you are welcome to apply for more than one course. Please also note that if we cannot offer you a place on your chosen course we may suggest a suitable alternative. If you wish to discuss which courses may best suit your career aspirations you are welcome to contact our careers team. You can find more details at

Will I need to take an English test i.e. IELTS or TOEFL?
An English test may be required. You would be advised of this if we were to make you an offer. You would also be advised of Pre-Sessional courses available. English conditions are monitored by the Postgraduate Admissions office. If you have a question regarding English please contact

I have a conditional offer but have not met my academic conditions. Can I keep my place on the course?
If your results are much lower than our requirements we may not be able to offer you a place. However, if you only missed out by a small amount we will ask the admissions team to review your results and make a decision. This will take a few days although we will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Can I defer my place?
We usually allow deferrals for one year. Please email if you wish to request a deferral.

Will I have to pay a deposit?
Yes, we require a non-refundable £1000 deposit within six weeks of receiving your offer recommendation. We advise waiting for your official offer (listing all conditions) before paying this. Please notify us when you have paid your deposit so that we do not send you any reminders.

What will I need to make an application?
You will need a card to pay the £30 fee (please contact us if you require alternative payment methods). The very least we need, aside from your completed application form and fee, is a current academic transcript. All other items can be set as conditions to be met at a later date (e.g. degree certificate, references etc).

Do you need references?
Yes, we require 2 references. If you have been out of education for longer than 5 years we are happy to accept professional references from a current manager/supervisor. When submitting your online application you will be asked to enter contact details for your referees. The application system will then send an automated request to your referees. Please note that if you have entered their personal email address (rather than professional), we will require the references to be uploaded on professional headed paper.

How many intakes do you have per year?
Our Full-Time courses only have one intake – September.

Will I need to take a GMAT?
We will need to assess your application to determine whether a GMAT is necessary. A GMAT condition tends to be applied when there is not sufficient evidence of a satisfactory level of numeracy or if candidates have been out of education for a significant period of time. We advise submitting an application as early as possible so that you have plenty of time to satisfy this condition if applied to your offer.

Are there any courses which do not have a quantitative requirement?
Yes, a GMAT is not required for the following courses:


  • MSc Capital Markets, Regulation & Compliance
  • MSc International Shipping & Finance

Please note that we do not assign a GMAT condition for MSc Financial Engineering applications as we require a quantitative degree for admission.

What is the application deadline?
We have not set an absolute deadline yet but recommend applying before the end of June to ensure there is enough time to complete all administrative procedures.

How do I apply?
Please submit an online application at . You will be prompted to upload your documents.

How long will the decision take?
We aim to give you a decision within 5-10 working days. It can be shorter or longer than this depending on the time of year. Offers need to be confirmed by Postgraduate Admissions; this takes a further 2-3 weeks after we give you the offer recommendation.

You have recommended that I am made an offer but I have not received my official offer yet. Why is this?
It usually takes 2-3 weeks for Postgraduate Admissions to confirm an offer and give you further details of your conditions etc. We ask you to be patient during this time. However, if it has been longer than 3 weeks, please email us at and we will follow it up for you. Before you do this please check the email has not gone to your SPAM folder.

Why have I been rejected?
The most common reason that we cannot offer a place is that the admissions team do not feel that you meet our entry requirements. If you wish to question this, you are welcome to email to request feedback. We also reject applications if they are not completed within a certain time frame (usually 1-2 months) – we will send you reminders before this point.

How many students do you take?
Our student numbers vary year to year but we tend to have around 250-350 Postgraduate students and 60-90 Undergraduates. We also co-teach for degrees offered by other departments.

Does the ICMA Centre have a code for the TOEFL/GMAT exam?
The TOEFL code for the University of Reading is 0769 and our GMAT reference is SH0-BR-04

Can I pay my Tuition fee in instalments?
We can offer two instalments – half to be paid before the start of the course and half before the start of part 2. 

Scholarships – course page default

Degree subject
Closing date
More details
Ambassador Scholarship
Any full time ICMA Centre Masters Programme
EU (Home)
Up to ten awards of £10,000 (against fees)
1st round
14th March 2014
2nd round
13th June 2014
Academy of Economic Studies Scholarship
Any full time ICMA Centre Masters Programme
Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest undergraduate students
Up to five awards of £15,000 towards tuition fees
1st round
14th March 2014
2nd round
13th June 2014
ICMA Centre India Scholarship
Any full time ICMA Centre Masters Programme
Be of Indian nationality, domicile in India and have graduated from an Indian institution
Two awards of £5,000 towards tuition fees
13th June 2014
ISF Director’s Scholarship Scheme
MSc International Shipping and Finance
EU (Home) and Overseas
Two Awards  of £5,000 each
13th June 2014
ICMA Centre Alumni Discount
Any full time ICMA Centre Masters Programme
ICMA Centre Alumni
Not applicable as eligible students will be picked-up automatically.
Henley Business School and University of Reading Alumni Discount
Any full time ICMA Centre Masters Programme
Henley Business School and University of Reading Alumni
Not applicable as eligible students will be picked-up automatically.

University of Reading Felix Scholarship

Any full-time MPhil/PhD programme or Taught masters
From India and other developing countries
Tuition fees and stipend to cover living expenses
31 January 2014

University of Reading


Visit the Helpdesk in the Carrington building, call 0118 378 7430 or email

University of Reading


Visit the Helpdesk in the Carrington building, call 0118 378 7430 or email


Prize for Excellence in Capital Markets, Regulation and Compliance

The ICMA Centre, in partnership with Danos Associates, is pleased to announce the Prize for Excellence in Capital Markets, Regulation and Compliance. The award will consist of £2,000 for the highest achieving student on the ICMA Centre MSc Capital Markets, Regulation & Compliance programme.

The Prize for Excellence in Capital Markets, Regulation and Compliance will be presented at the ICMA Centre on Graduation Day (Friday 5th July – details to be confirmed).

For more information about the prize please visit this link.

The Worshipful Company of International Bankers

The City Livery Company, The Worshipful Company of International Bankers, has agreed to award a Prize of £300 to the top performing full time MSc student completing the “Research Project” module.  This will be presented by their Representative on Graduation Day in July. Further details can be found here.

This marks the first stage of the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School’s collaboration with a Livery Company based at the heart of the City financial markets.  More information about The Worshipful Company of International Bankers can be found on their website.

If you have any questions please contact Martyn Drage (

The Vetiva Prize

This prize is for the highest achieving full-time MSc Student from Africa graduating from the ICMA Centre, University of Reading. The prize includes a £1000, which will be presented upon graduation. The winner may be offered work opportunities with Vetiva and other Investment Banking firms that operate within the African Continent.

Prize Criteria

  • The ICMA Centre will identify suitable recipients based on their examination performance and participation during the academic year;
  • Applicants for the prize, may be asked to submit a short essay on a topic relating to African Financial Development (the precise title will be determined annually by the ICMA Centre);
  • In the event of two or more candidates being ranked equally, Vetiva may then require an interview by the short listed candidates.

Winner in 2011: Chardin Wese Simen

ICMA Centre Undergraduate Academic Achievement Prize

Each year the Centre awards a prize of £500 to the final year BSc student who achieves the highest mark for their degree.



New Book: Corporate Governance: Theory and Practice

Corporate Governance Book JacketCapitalism is high on the political agenda. Like coffee it seems to come in a bewildering number of varieties. Some politicians like it “responsible” others “moral” and still others “popular”. While some argue that it is time for shareholders to wield real power, others feel that that certain shareholders, notably hedge funds should sit on their hands, at least if they have bought shares after a takeover has been announced. Out on the streets the tents of the “occupy” protectors may be under threat but many are sympathetic to the view that bankers and board members have been rewarded for taking too many risks with other people’s money.

In Corporate Governance: Theory and Practice, Carol Padgett explores these issues, considering why shareholders may not see themselves as owners of companies and examining new regulation designed to change this view. The book covers a variety of other governance topics including directors’ remuneration, using a wealth of examples from companies around the world.

‘Carol Padgett has written an excellent book on corporate governance.  It is comprehensive and thorough in its coverage of an important and expanding topic.  The book combines an extensive review of the relevant literature with an insightful description of corporate governance policy and practice.  It is well illustrated with case studies and examples, and it guides the reader carefully through the different aspects of current corporate governance debates.’
Colin Mayer, Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK

‘This text provides an excellent and comprehensive introduction to corporate governance and leads the reader through what would otherwise be complex theoretical  concepts and issues in an easy-to-read and understandable manner.  Explanations are very clear and the book is punctuated with real world examples of the governance issue at hand.  This should be an essential text for corporate governance students or for those wishing to gain a strong grasp in this subject without getting lost in complicated jargon.’
Dr. Bruce Hearn, Course Director MSc Finance, University of Leicester, UK

‘Students will find Corporate Governance a comprehensive and readable introduction to a subject of increasing importance.’
Robert A. G.  Monks, shareholder activist and author of Corporate Governance