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Presentation by David Roberts, the Chairman-Elect of the Nationwide Building Society

We are pleased to welcome David Roberts, the Chairman-Elect of the Nationwide Building Society. David’s presentation will focus on corporate governance and culture using the banking industry as an example and will contrast the mutual model followed by Nationwide with joint stock owned businesses such as Lloyds and Barclays.

Venue: ICMA Centre, Large Lecture Theatre (Room 150 on the first floor)

Date: Wednesday, 11th March at 6.30pm

David has a wealth of experience to draw upon. He was appointed Deputy Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group in 2012, previously serving as Chairman of the Board Risk Committee from 2010. He has held a number of senior positions in banking and finance: a main Board Director and CEO for International & Retail Banking at Barclays from 2004 to 2006, as well as serving as a member of the Group Executive Committee at Barclays from 2001 to 2006. David was Chairman of the Managing Board at BAWAG PSK Gruppe, the second largest retail bank in Austria from 2007 to 2009. David has been a member of the Henley Advisory Board for some years and is a great supporter of the Business School.  

Nationwide is the world’s largest building society, as well as the second largest savings provider and a top-three provider of mortgages in the U.K. With some 15 million customers Nationwide has positioned itself as a real and credible alternative to the established banks. Unlike some of its competitors, Nationwide successfully weathered the banking crisis and economic downturn with its reputation intact and emerged in a strong position to meet the challenges facing financial institutions in the years ahead.

To reserve a place please use the form below:

Tsinghua University PBC School of Finance Summer Program Scholarship 2015

Do you want an opportunity to visit and study in China for two weeks this Summer?

We are very pleased to announce that Tsinghua University, PBCSF have awarded the ICMA Centre 3 scholarships for students to join their Summer Programme from June 28 to July 10, 2015 in Beijing. The Scholarship covers the full programme fee, room and board (on campus), courses, materials, events and related domestic transportation. Recipients will have to cover airfare and other expenses.

The scholarship is a fantastic opportunity, open to all current ICMA Centre students or students studying at the ICMA Centre as part of their degree programme. For more information please visit the Tsinghua University PBC School of Finance Summer Program website. In order to be considered for this scholarship please send a video titled ‘Why me?’, of no more than 5 minutes in length, detailing why you should be chosen for this opportunity, by 1pm Monday, 20th April.

Three winners will be chosen by academic staff from those submitted. The video can be in all files and formats. Videos must be submitted by either emailing a Dropbox link to or by bringing a USB stick to the ICMA Centre Front office. Please title the subject of the email “Tsinghua University Summer Program”, and include your name, student number and course in the email.

If you have any questions please email

Good luck!

Be in Demand- Postgraduate studies at the ICMA Centre

Are you a current undergraduate student at the ICMA Centre or University of Reading and interested in a future career in finance? Would you like to find out more about our uniquely designed Masters degrees in Finance?

If you would like to find out more about the postgraduate programmes offered at the ICMA Centre and how a Masters in Finance could be your next step, please join us on

Monday, 2 March
Room G03/4 (ICMA Centre)

You will have the opportunity to meet with staff and to learn more about career development and the admissions process. We have some exciting discounts on fees for University of Reading and ICMA Centre Alumni, as well as ten ambassador scholarships of up to £10,000!


Statistical Model Selection with `Big Data’ by Sir David Hendry

On Wednesday 28th January, Sir David Hendry visited the ICMA Centre, and gave a joint ICMA Centre and Economics Department seminar on Statistical Model Selection with `Big Data”. 

Sir David has been the pre-eminent British econometrician for the last forty years, and was knighted for contributions to social science in 2007. He spoke to a large audience on the difficulties involved in selecting useful models when the complexity of the system is such that there are a huge number of candidate explanatory variables.  

Price discovery in the 18th Century

New research by Professor Adrian Bell, Chris Brooks (both of the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School) and Nick Taylor (of the University of Bristol) has been published in Cliometrica: The Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History.

The journal specialises in original research that focuses upon the use of modern economic theory and econometric techniques to investigate historical issues.

The paper titled ‘Price discovery in the 18th Century’ combines the methodological approaches of modern finance and historical analysis, to investigate the time-varying nature of price discovery – the process by and the speed with which, new information is reflected in the prices of traded assets – in eighteenth century cross-listed stocks.

Specifically, the work investigates how quickly news was impacted in share prices for two of the ‘great moneyed companies’, the Bank of England and the East India Company, over the period 1723 to 1794.

These British companies were cross-listed on the London and Amsterdam stock exchanges and news between the capitals flowed mainly via the use of boats that sailed up to twice per week transporting mail. The study examines in detail the historical context surrounding the defining events of the period, and uses these as a guide to how the data should be analysed.

The research shows that both trading venues contributed to price discovery, and that although the London venue was more important for these stocks, Amsterdam also played an increasing role.

The results of this research demonstrates that despite communication being delayed between the two financial centres (and being tricky especially during periods of warfare and economic uncertainty), price differentials would disappear so that prices returned to equilibrium quickly, and any arbitrage opportunities would therefore swiftly disappear.

The study is also able to show that the prices of these early examples of cross-listed stocks incorporated information from both listing venues despite operating in a period of great political and financial turbulence.

Professor Adrian Bell, head of the ICMA Centre, stated “These findings offer an important wider implication; that financial markets do not require modern forms of immediate electronic communication or a highly developed regulatory framework in order to function effectively.”

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.