News Archives

  • 2014 (30)
  • 2013 (67)
  • 2012 (22)
  • 2011 (14)
  • 2010 (20)
  • 2009 (17)
  • 2008 (13)
  • 2007 (12)
  • 2006 (12)



ICMA Centre Academic joins Principles for Responsible Investment delegation in Japan

In the wake of the recent launch of the Japanese stewardship code, Dr Andreas Hoepner is joining the delegation of the United Nations supported Principles for Responsible Investment on their tour to Japan this week in his role as Senior Academic Fellow. The delegation is expected to meet with representatives of the Japanese government, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, large pension funds and trade unions. Before leaving for Japan Sunday morning, Andreas said that he is very excited about the Japanese progress in establishing the notion of Stewardship in financial markets.

Before joining the ICMA Centre, Dr. Andreas G. F. Hoepner worked as a Lecturer in Banking and Finance at the University of St Andrews (since February 2009) and as Deputy Director of the Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance at the University of St. Andrews (since November 2011). His research has won several awards including a 2012 Academy of Management Best Paper Proceeding, a 2010 PRI Academic Research Award, and 2011 and 2012 PRI/FIR Research Grant Awards.

Andreas full CV can be seen at this link.

Dr. Ogonna Nneji featured in credit magazine

A lecturer in finance at the ICMA Centre, Dr. Ogonna Nneji, recently featured in Creditflux, a leading industry credit magazine with around 10,000 readers in the credit markets. His short article was co-authored with Dr. Davide Avino, a research fellow at the Financial Mathematics and Computation Cluster (FMC2), University College Dublin Smurfit Business School and previous ICMA Centre PhD student. Their article titled “Finding inefficiencies in iTraxx” provides evidence that the credit default swaps market in Europe is inefficient and could be exploited by credit investors.

Ogonna is a Lecturer in Finance at the ICMA Centre. He holds a BSc in Economics and Finance from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Finance and investment from the University of Exeter. In 2012, he completed a PhD in Finance from the ICMA Centre. His primary research interests include applied financial econometrics, asset bubbles and real estate finance/economics. You can find out more about his research here.

You can access the article here:

Private Clients

We are delighted to present Wilson Cotton

Thursday 6th March

ICMA Centre Room 150


Wilson has many years experience in working with private clients in the City.
Wilson is currently a partner and director at Smith and Williamson, one of the top ten largest firms of accountants in the UK, with an investment management arm with over £14.5 billion of assets under management. He specialises in advising private clients on trusts and estates, as well as acting as an executor and trustee on a wide variety of private a corporate trusts. He is a founding member of STEP, the leading international professional body for trust practitioners and estate administrators, and is a former President of TACT, the Association of Corporate Trustees. Wilson is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and has acted as an expert witness in court and the House of Lords.
He will be speaking about the more practical issues of dealing with private clients. Given much of academic finance focuses on theoretical and technical concerns it should fill in some gaps for anyone interested in working with private clients in the City and anywhere else. The areas Wilson talk will touch upon include:
  • Trusts
  •  Non-Doms
  • The difference between common and civil law jurisdictions
  •  Tax
  • Dealing with blackswans
a. Divorce
b. Death
c. Living in other countries
  • Balancing competing interests of family members
He will also be happy to field any questions you may have about the more personal aspects of working with private clients, as well as their thoughts on large financial institutions and acting in director level positions.

Financial Industry – Market & Critical Success Factors

We are delighted to present Christoph Dreher

Thursday 27th February

ICMA Centre Room 150


As a CSSP managing partner, Christoph Dreher specialises in the analysis of sustainable and responsible investments and corresponding investment products. He is particularly interested in the areas of risk management and risk control as well as in individual product design.

He was able to acquire his experience in the area of sustainable investment products within the framework of diverse applied research projects as well as from his engagement in the fund management as well as fund controlling. Among other things, Mr Dreher was recently responsible for the conception and implementation of risk controlling and the respective governance of the first Liechtenstein microfinance investment fund.

Mr Dreher has a master’s degree (Master of Science, MSc) in Banking & Financial Management. He holds a lectureship at the University of Liechtenstein on the subject of “Portfolio Management & Financial Analysis”.

Henley Challenge 2014

The Henley Challenge is an annual competition open to all students across Henley Business School, who are studying in the UK, which encourages the use of knowledge, skill and creativity. The challenge for students this year was to choose a business area studied at Henley to focus on and present to an audience of peers and academics their answer to the question:

‘Honest profit’…
Corporate daydream or imperative?

The five finalists, were chosen by a panel of staff and academic judges, and gave a 10 minute presentation last night.

Amongst this years’ finalists, were ICMA Centre student Huaxin Shen, BSc Finance & Investment Banking, & Junda Zeng, MSc Real Estate Finance, who delivered a very interesting presentation that explored the costs of maintaining an ethical supply chain.

The winner was Abhishek Mandal, Full-time MBA, who received the most votes from the audience at the event and the prize is £1,250 to share between him and his chosen charity (£250 for the winner/s, £1,000 for the charity/ies.).

Congratulations to all teams for their effort and to the winner of this year’s competition!

A video of the full event will be available soon.

Responsible Investment and Hedge Funds

We are delighted to present Pierre Lenders

Thursday 20th February 

ICMA Centre Room 150


Pierre recently co-founded Prius, a quantitative advisory service to responsible investors, out of three strong beliefs:

  • Investing responsibly is not just a moral obligation, it has also become an economical necessity;
  • A correct assessment of the global macro background is often a hidden key success factor in manager selection;
  • Technology and big data can help, now that transparency of investment processes is a given.


Until 2012, Pierre was CEO and Co-CIO of HDF Finance, a Paris based alternative asset manager later transitioned and merged into Rothschild & Cie Gestion. Throughout his tenure, HDF became a signatory to the UNPRI. From 2008 to 2010, he had been in charge of market risks before becoming portfolio manager and then Co-CIO at La Fayette IM in London. Pierre previously headed up hedge fund selection, incubation and seeding at Oddo in Paris.

From 1999 to 2005, Pierre was CEO of Murex North America, a software company offering trading and risk management solutions to top investment banks, asset managers and asset owners. From 1986 to 1998, he held various management and trading positions within J.P. Morgan’s capital markets division.

He ran European fixed income trading from London after introducing bond stripping in France in 1991. He integrated the senior proprietary macro trading team after his nomination as Managing Director in 1994, was in charge of Asset and Liability Management and of the trading floors of Madrid then Paris, and also led a Paris Club securitization transaction in 1998.

ICMA Centre Academic interviewed by Nordea Invest Magazine

Dr. Andreas Hoepner, Associate Professor of Finance and Director of Enterprise at the ICMA Centre, was recently interviewed by Nordea Invest Magazine on Responsible Investments.  In his interview Andreas stressed out performance opportunities of investment integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) data particularly in the consumer discretionary, industrial and health care sector. He, however, also clarifies that the average responsible investment fund, like the average active fund in any other investment style, does not really outperform.

Andreas also introduced the new concept of Dynamic ESG, which relates corporate ESG ratings to the relevance of ESG themes as measured in social media. Such social media trends in attention towards ESG themes can be nice, early indicators of subsequent action. For instance, attention to climate change mitigation campaigners is usually about ten times higher than the attention to climate change sceptics. In the run up to the 2009 Copenhagen conference, however, the sceptics managed to half the gap, which was an early sign of the character the Copenhagen negotiations would take. Andreas collaborates on this research with German computer scientist Damian Borth and Joern Hees and their social enterprise ‘Sociovestix Labs’.

Andreas received his PhD from St Andrews in June 2010. Before joining the ICMA Centre, he worked as a Lecturer in Banking and Finance at the University of St Andrews and as Deputy Director of the Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance at the University of St. Andrews. He is currently also serving as the Academic Fellow to the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Investment, and as Senior Associate to the University of Cambridge’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership. His research has won several awards including a 2012 Academy of Management Best Paper Proceeding, a 2010 PRI Academic Research Award, and 2011 and 2012 PRI/FIR Research Grant Awards. His full bio can be found at this link.

About Nordea and Nordea Investment Management

Nordea is the largest financial services group in Northern Europe with a market capitalisation of approximately EUR 35bn, total assets of EUR 622bn and a core tier 1 capital ratio of 14.0%. Nordea Investment Management is the global asset manager which manages EUR 130bn. Of these, EUR 75bn are managed on behalf of more than 500 institutional investors. They employ 575 people, of whom approximately half are investment professionals.



Multimedia Opinion Mining for Financial Markets by Damian Borth

We are delighted to present  Damian Borth

Wednesday120th February 

ICMA Centre Room 150


Damian Borth is an active researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, multimedia retrieval and social media analysis. He focuses on large-scale learning from social media streams by applying pattern recognition and machine learning approaches to handle sample noise and domain change during the classification process. Damian joined the University of Kaiserslautern and the German Research Center of Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in 2007, where he contributed to several projects related to image and video analysis (funded by the German Research Foundation), trend discovery and targeted advertising (funded by the Google Research Award Program). Additionally he is also affiliated with the DVMM lab at Columbia University, USA. His work has been awarded with the McKinsey Business Technology Award 2011, the ACM ICMR 2012 Best Paper Award, a PiCloud Academic Program Research Grant and the Silver Award from the EuroIPTV Grand Challenge in 2010. He has published over 25 scientific papers including book chapters, journal articles and conference contributions. He is an active reviewer and program committee member for several international journals, conferences, and workshops. Prior to that, Damian spent two years in Taiwan, Singapore and China where he worked for a German car manufacturer. Damian holds a Diploma in Engineering and a Masters Degree in Computer Science.

Two ICMA Centre academics invited to speak at prestigious international conference

Professor Adrian Bell, Head of the ICMA Centre, and Volker Nienhaus, Visiting Professor, have been invited to speak at the upcoming conference organised by the CFA Institute, “Realising our Potential: Investing for Sustainable Growth”, 9-10 April-  in Jordan. The conference is the fifth Annual CFA Institute Middle East Investment Conference and aims to bring together industry leaders.

Leading business figures from across the MENA region and respected international practitioners, policy makers and macroeconomic experts will examine the challenges and opportunities facing Middle East economies, and consider practical solutions to the most pressing questions facing investment professionals today.

Adrian will be drawing on his research in the History of Finance to draw parallels for current market practitioners; whilst Volker will be talking on the theme ‘turning Islamic Banking into a competitive advantage’.

For additional information please visit the conference website.

Richard Comotto featured in the Financial Times and the FT Alphaville blog

Richard Comotto, Senior Visiting Fellow at the ICMA Centre was featured recently in the Financial Times and on the FT Alphaville blog in articles regarding the shrinking of the Europe repo market over the second half of 2013.

The article on the FT Alphaville blog on January 23rd 2014 was by Izabella Kaminska and is entitled ‘European Repo is on the decline’. The FT article on the same day by Christopher Thompson is entitled ‘Eurozone market shrinks in second half’.

Both articles look at the recently published ICMA European repo market survey number 26 (December 2013). This notes that ‘the latest figure for repo market size is still substantially above the lowest survey figure of EUR 4,633 billion recorded in December 2008, although well short of the pre-crisis peak in European repo market size of EUR 6,775 billion in June 2007.’

Richard commented that the contraction of the market was likely to have been the result of the usual shrinkage of repo books at year-end plus the impact of the liquidity offered by the ECB in December in order to relieve any seasonal funding shortages. But it might also reflect anticipation by banks of regulatory measures to reduce short-term funding.

Richard is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the ICMA Centre, and delivers the MSc module on short-term financial markets (FX, money markets and securities financing). You can read more from Richard on the European Repo market on the ICBlog.