Insights into Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing by Neil Brown

Neil has worked in investment for 13 years. Before joining Alliance Trust Investments in August 2001, Neil spent 4 years at Aviva Investors where, most recently, he was an SRI Fund Manager.

Neil’s investment career started at Pensions & Investments Research Consultants where he was a senior researcher. In 2004, he moved to Threadneedle Asset Management where, as well as having the role of Pan European Equity Analyst, he was also Head of Governance and Responsible Investment.

Neil is lead Fund Manager on the SF European Growth OEIC and SF Pan European SICAV. He is co-fund manager on the SF UK Growth and UK Ethical funds.
Neil has an MSc in Development Economics from the School of African & Oriental Studies and a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Manchester. He holds the CFA Society of the UK Investment Management Certificate. Neil is also Chair of the UN Principle for Responsible Investment Integration Working Group.

This guest lecture is part of the new Industry Insights seminar series. To register and for more information, please go to

Institutional investors, business and the public good from transactions to relations by Colin Melvin

Colin joined Hermes Fund Managers in 2002 and became CEO of Hermes Equity Ownership Services in 2005. Colin provides advice and assistance to pension funds and other institutional investors in the areas of responsible asset management, corporate governance, voting and engagement. He is currently an Associate of the Centre for Corporate Governance Research of the University of Birmingham and a non-executive director of Aedas Europe, an architectural firm. Colin is currently an active member of various industry steering groups and committees including those of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (for which he was the first Chair), Tomorrow’s Company Inquiry into Corporate Ownership, the Work Foundation Panel of Inquiry into Work and Enterprise, the Global Institutional Governance Network, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and the International Corporate Governance Network. Previously, Colin was Corporate Governance Manager and Secretary to the Ethics Committee at Standard Life Investments and Head of Corporate Governance and responsible investment at Baillie Gifford.  

He is also a former member of the Advisory Board to Aberforth Limited Partnership I, a fund engaged in relational and active-value investing. He holds an MA from Aberdeen University and an MPhil from Cambridge University, both in History, and a Diploma in Investment Analysis from Stirling University.

This guest lecture is part of the new Industry Insights seminar series. To register and for more information, please go to

Great results for Henley in the University Research Excellence Framework 2014 rankings!

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) evaluates research and its impact every six years. Henley Business School faculty were entered into two units of assessment in the national 2014 REF. Both units received excellent results.

In particular for Business and Management, Henley, including the ICMA Centre, is now is ranked in the top 10% for internationally excellent and world-leading research. In addition, out of 101 institutions, Henley Business School ranked 10th for the reach and significance of our impact on business and policy, and 14th for the vitality and sustainability of the research environment. Henley were placed 16th in the UK for the overall quality of research.

Professor Chris Brooks, Director of Research at the ICMA Centre, was a member of the Business and Management sub-panel that conducted the research evaluation. He said, “I am delighted with this set of results, which demonstrate the high regard in which our research is held. It is particularly gratifying to see that almost two thirds of our impact submission was awarded the highest possible (4*) rating, which reflects our focus on conducting relevant as well as rigorous research for the financial markets.”

These superb results show that Henley is achieving its objective of being recognised for its world-class research and its application. Henley’s approach is to deliver research that makes a positive impact on business, policy and society by maintaining a dynamic research environment that influences everyone connected with the School.

To read the full story please visit the Henley Business School website and visit the University of Reading REF page.

Congratulations to all our December 2014 graduates!

Congratulations to all our students who graduated last week and in particular to our distance learning students and MSc Investment Banking and Islamic Finance.

The graduation ceremony took place in the Great Hall at the University of Reading’s historic London Road campus.

After the graduation ceremony, graduates and their families were invited back to the ICMA Centre for a champagne reception. During the ICMA Centre reception Professor Adrian Bell, Head of the ICMA Centre, awarded  the “Dean’s Excellence Award 2014″ to Anan Alsebihi in recognition of outstanding academic achievement on the MSc Investment Banking and Islamic Finance (12 months option).

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate their success with us! Make sure you update your details before you leave and join our Alumni Community at this link to take advantage of many of the benefits and services we offer, including our continuous careers service

Be sure to stay in touch via our active FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter communities and share your pictures of the graduation on Instagram using  #icmacgrad.

A full gallery of pictures taken at the ceremony is available on the ICMA Centre Facebook page at this link.

Undergraduate ICMA Centre students are awarded CFA scholarships

For the second year in a row, five students of the BSc in Finance and Investment Banking were awarded scholarships for sitting the CFA Level 1 exam. The scholarships amount to $350 each and are one of the benefits that come with the programme being recognised as an official program partner of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute.

Henley Business School is one of very few institutions in the UK (along with Warwick Business School, Manchester Business School and Lancaster University Management School) to have an undergraduate program receive a CFA program partner status, which recognises that the respective curriculum is closely tied to professional practice and covers a significant portion of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge.

“We are very satisfied with the students’ willingness to enhance their knowledge and career potential by taking the CFA exam while also studying for the final year of their degree and starting to apply for placements. The allocation of the scholarships was a very competitive process this year as we received expressions of interest by more than 20 students. All of the recipients are top students with average marks in their second year of studies of 70% or more”, commented programme director Dr Ioannis Oikonomou.

You can learn more about the ICMA Centre’s undergraduate degrees in Finance here.


New BSc in Finance and Management with Venice: Premium Degree at a Competitive Price

The University of Reading and Henley Business School’s commitment to increasing student mobility internationally has led to the launch of a new BSc in Finance and Management in collaboration with the University of Venice starting in September 2015.

Students will spend their first and third year at Henley Business School in Reading while the second year will be fully taught in Venice (in English) by the prestigious Ca’ Foscari University.

To widen participation and launch the new degree, student fees have been reduced for both EU and non-EU applicants, relative to other programmes offered by Henley Business School. The School is further promoting this initiative by granting all UK students a £4,000 scholarship.

All EU students can apply for a loan sponsored by the UK government to cover university fees for the duration of the degree. [1] More details can be found at (

Degree overview
To navigate today’s complex business environment, anyone wishing to undertake a career in the finance industry, large corporations or as an entrepreneur needs in-depth knowledge across a broad spectrum of disciplines. This degree offers a unique opportunity to gain the right level of understanding of the key aspects of corporate financing, business management, accounting, economics and business law. It includes one year of study at the University of Venice, a prestigious institution with a long tradition of teaching and research in these fields – a unique and truly international experience.

Who should apply?
Students will come from a wide range of backgrounds and share an aptitude for mathematics and an interest in business, management and finance.

Career opportunities
This degree prepares students for managerial roles in a variety of sectors including the banking, investment and insurance industries, and in the finance functions of large enterprises.

What you will study
In the first year you will study the core subjects of finance, economics and accounting and will be introduced to computer simulations of securities dealing and spreadsheet modelling. In the second year (at the University of Venice) you will undertake a wide range of management modules including human resource management, international business strategy, marketing, management accounting and business law together with a research project in a finance related area. The third year offers a blend of finance and management modules and more opportunities for specialisation. You will be able to choose modules from a broad range of options which will allow you to tailor your degree towards your own needs, interests and aims.

Fee structure 

UK £9,000 £1,350* £9,000
EU (non-UK) £9,000 £5,350** £9,000
Non-EU £17,350 £9,600*** £17,350

* Net of a £4,000 scholarship granted by the University of Reading to all UK students.
** Includes a £4,000 fee due to the University of Venice.
*** Includes a £7,000 fee due to the University of Venice.

Entry requirements

GCSE: English grade B or above
A Level: AAB from 3 A Levels. Must include AS Level Mathematics grade B or above
International Baccalaureate: Achieve 35 overall. Must also include grade 6 in standard level Mathematics.

For further information please see

For “How to Apply” guidelines see or email:


[1] Please note that (1) the fees charged by the University of Venice (£4,000 for EU students) are not covered by the loan and (2) students of this degree will not be eligible for ERASMUS+ scholarships.

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

ICMA Centre Visiting Fellow Keith Arundale was recently published in the ICAEW’s Finance and Management Faculty’s report on “Growing your business”.

Keith’s article titled “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained” details how venture capital can provide one of the most tried and tested means of securing funding for business development. Keith notes “Despite some rumours to the contrary, venture capital is alive and well in today’s financing climate.”

The “Growing your business” report is available from

Keith Arundale is a visiting Fellow at the ICMA Centre and specialises in private equity and venture capital. He lectures on the MSc degree in Corporate Finance with responsibility for the elective module on Venture Capital.

He has also recently been appointed as ICAEW’s representative on the Qualification Panel for the Diploma in Corporate Finance of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI).

You can find out more information on the MSc degree in Corporate Finance at the ICMA Centre by following this link.

FCA collaborates with Henley Business School and the CISI on new MSc in Financial Regulation

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be working in partnership with Henley Business School and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI)  to deliver a Masters of Science (MSc) in Financial Regulation.

Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive of the FCA announced the programme in a speech at Mansion House on 16/10/2014.

Whilst there are many modules on governance and regulation in Masters programmes in Finance, this is the first MSc of its kind in the UK or internationally focusing entirely on financial regulation.  Initially it will be offered exclusively to FCA staff and other regulatory organisations, with plans once established to offer it more widely. 

Henley Business School

Henley Business School is a leading international business school and is one of the world’s few business schools to hold triple-accredited status from the major UK, European and US awarding bodies.

As part of the University of Reading, Henley operates within an academic institution that is placed within the top 1% of all global universities. Most recently, Henley’s undergraduate programmes in Accounting and Finance were ranked first in the UK in the Guardian’s University league tables.


Complementing this prestigious programme, course participants will have access to supporting CISI  materials and an extensive network of experienced practitioners and speakers which will provide a practitioner perspective. Upon successful completion of the Masters, full membership and the MCSI designation is available.

Evolved from the London Stock Exchange, the CISI is one of the largest and most widely respected professional bodies for those who work in the industry. 

Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the FCA, said: “This programme will help to set a global regulatory standard and foster a stronger set of regulators in financial services. The work we are doing with Henley and CISI will ensure that future leaders have the interests of consumers and the markets they operate in at the forefront of their minds.”

Professor John Board, Dean of the Henley Business School, commented “I am delighted to be working so closely with the FCA and drawing on the breadth of our skills, not just in financial markets but also in organisational psychology and consumer behaviour. The goal of the programme is to develop FCA staff to better supervise the financial sector, whether investment banking, financial markets, pay day loans, retail banking or PPI.”

Ruth Martin, CISI Managing Director said: The CISI is delighted  to be working with both Henley Business School and the  FCA,  so the investment is not only in  such a prestigious postgraduate award, but  also in the ongoing  professionalism requirements  of  CISI membership. This combination will enable  regulators to  be at the leading edge both during, and after, their studies.”


Henley among the world’s best in the Financial Times Executive MBA ranking 2014

The Henley Executive MBA has been ranked as 53rd in the world, 20th in Europe and 7th in the UK.

This world-class positioning testifies to Henley’s on-going commitment to deliver on the School’s ambition: We empower individuals to become great professionals and outstanding business leaders.

Henley’s Executive MBA has risen on many key measures in the Financial Times MBA ranking, including career progress, learning experience, research quality, faculty and diversity. This rankings performance is positive recognition of the impact of our work.

Career progress – world top 10 for aims achieved (No. 1 in the UK), top 20 for salary increase (No. 3 in the UK)

Reflecting Henley’s focus on personal development and professional impact, the ‘aims achieved’ measure has improved in each ranking since 2008, rising 40 places in that time and resulting this year in the Executive MBA achieving top place in the UK.

Its graduates continue to pave their way to success, showing an improvement of 5 places for ‘career progress’ and a world top 20 position when comparing pre and post MBA salaries. In the UK the Executive MBA was awarded third position in this measure.

Internationalism – students, faculty and board achieve improved positions

Henley Business School rose up the rankings in all 3 measures related to the breadth and depth of its international credentials. A truly international business school, Henley now has campuses and offices in 16 countries and an alumni network that spreads across 157 countries.

Research quality – advances made in all 3 research/idea generation criteria

The FT measures the number of PhD and DBA graduates, the percentage of faculty with doctoral degrees, and the number of research papers published. Henley demonstrated significant progress in these areas, including a big jump to 33rd spot in the world for its number of doctoral graduates.

Diversity – number 5 in the world for women faculty, number 11 for female students

Henley continues achieving balance at the highest level, not just in terms of the percentage of female students and faculty, but also in representation on its governing board.

Top 10 in the UK

Given the progress made on the world stage, it’s not surprising that the UK results are equally positive

  • number 1 for graduate aims achieved
  • number 1 for % of women faculty
  • number 2 for % of women students
  • number 3 for salary increase
  • number 4 for the number of PhD and DBA graduates

Professor John Board, Dean, Henley Business School, comments: ”These results make highly encouraging reading and mirror a similar story told by the Economist rankings published just last week. They reflect the enormous hard work and dedication of our students, faculty and staff and confirm our reputation as one of the world’s leading players in global business education – something we have been providing for the last 70 years. We will not rest on our laurels and continue to build upon our successes, enhancing our MBA portfolio in breadth, depth and quality.”

ICMA Centre Academic gives opening keynote at leading Swedish Responsible Investment Conference

Associate Professor of Finance at the ICMA Centre, Dr. Andreas Hoepner gave the opening keynote at the largest responsible Investment conference in Sweden, organised by the newspaper Veckans affärer, said to be the ‘Swedish equivalent of the Economist’.

The conference was oversubscribed with well over a hundred industry professionals in attendance. Dr Andreas Hoepner discussed the contextuality of responsible investment opportunities. After his keynote speech, Dr. Hoepner conducted a video interview with the newspaper discussing the newest technology opportunities in responsible investment.

According to Dr. Hoepner “the conference was very well organised and a true success. It showed a clear ambition to rebuild Sweden’s leading position in the strongly growing field of Responsible Investment.”

Dr Andreas Hoepner is the Director of Enterprise at the ICMA Centre and Associate Professor of finance, teaching on a range of postgraduate and undergraduate programmes all of which advocate the importance of responsible trading.