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Fixed Income Certificate (FIC) Online Programme
 
(Formerly known as the IFID)

The FIC, formerly the International Fixed Income and Derivatives Certificate (IFID), has been an essential qualification for market professionals for nearly 40 years, placing emphasis on developing practical skills for trading, investment and risk management.

In line with the requirements of the international banks and fund management companies who are the main clients for the programme and its global reach, the FIC course material is delivered in both classroom and online versions.

As part of ICMA's commitment to providing the highest standard in executive education, the new online version of the course benefits from innovative interactive software and a much more supportive student experience. Candidates who choose the online learning option will have six months to study the course material, but new monthly, web based review sessions allow them to interact with their fellow FIC students, address any questions they have and recap on the material they are expected to have covered over the previous month with the course tutor. Clear targets, regular monitoring and structured progress allow students to complete this demanding course and achieve the high standard that the final certification exam demands.

The FIC online programme currently runs on two term dates annually, April to September and October to March. The new dedicated term times will enable candidates to join the course tutors for the online webinars and interact by asking questions via web chat. You will also receive dedicated tutor support and access to a whole host of information through the ICMA virtual campus and student forums.

The FIC syllabus is organised around three key topic areas, broken down into multiple sub-topics, and concludes with the FIC course exam:
  • Trading the Yield Curve with Cash Market Securities
  • Interest Rate Derivatives
  • Credit Trading
Full details on the FIC syllabus are available via the ‘Content’ tab.


Benefits of the Online Programme
  • Total learning flexibility - candidates can study in their own time and from where they choose
  • Self-paced learning modules - any potential time restraints from the classroom based programme are removed
  • Monthly web based review sessions with the course online tutor
  • The ability to post questions via the online campus discussion board which can be discussed with the course tutor
  • Candidates are able to create a personal profile in order to interact with other candidates, creating the feel of a virtual classroom while still studying remotely

Programme Recognition

The FIC is included on the UK’s Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) qualifications list for ‘Advising on securities in the wholesale market place’ and ‘Advising on derivatives in the wholesale market place’.

FIC candidates also qualify for 30 credit hours under the guidelines of the CFA Institute’s Continuing Education Programme.




FIC Online Tutor – Gail Rolland

Gail has 30 years’ experience in financial markets. Working initially in trading and sales of major international banks in London and New York, Gail subsequently started her own financial markets training and consultancy firm. Gail has broad market experience on a global level, but a particular expertise in fixed income and market infrastructure. Gail is the author of Market Players: A Guide to Institutions in the Financial Markets. She has worked with the ICMA since the 1990s and also trains on the Financial Markets Foundation Course (FMFC).




Once a candidate registers for the programme, they will be granted access to the online campus, in preparation for their start date, which provides background reading on a number of subjects that candidates may find useful.  Sample practice questions are also available, allowing candidates to assess their own progress in the programme.


Detailed Programme

The Fixed Income Certificate (FIC) is a professional training qualification that places strong emphasis on practical skills, based on a thorough understanding of valuation principles and the relationships between the cash and the derivatives markets. The current programme covers the following subjects:

1. Trading the Yield Curve with Cash Market Securities
1.1 Fixed income securities & interest rates
1.2 Monetary policy & the yield curve
1.3 Interest rate risk
1.4 Trading views on the yield curve with cash instruments
1.5 Financial fixed income trades
1.6 Bonds with embedded options
1.7 Inflation-indexed bonds
1.8 Sovereign credit risk & sovereign ratings
1.9 Fixed income market practice & regulation

2. Interest Rate Derivatives
2.1 Short-term interest rate (STIR) futures
2.2 Bond futures
2.3 Interest rate swaps & swap futures
2.4 Interest rate options
2.5 Inflation derivatives
2.6 Counterparty risk in derivatives
2.7 Derivative market practice & regulation

3. Credit Trading
3.1 Credit risk & credit spreads
3.2 Default probability & expected recovery
3.3 Credit analysis & credit ratings
3.4 Securitisation
3.5 Credit default swaps & credit default swaptions
3.6 Credit trading & hedging with single name CDS
3.7 Credit trading with index CDS
3.8 Credit trading with CDS index tranches
3.9 CDS pricing & revaluation


Course Duration

Candidates have six months from the programme start date to complete their study and take the FIC exam.


Exam

Candidates sit the FIC exam at the offices of Prometric, the recognised global leader in technology-enabled testing and assessment services.  Prometric has numerous testing centres around the world and is represented in all major cities globally.
Please refer to www.prometric.com for further information.

The exam consists of a 75 question multiple choice paper. Candidates have three hours to complete the exam and are required to answer a minimum of 45 questions, or 60%, correctly in order to pass.



 


Next start date:
1 October 2015


Costs:

£1,500 for members
£1,950 for non-members

The next Fixed Income Certificate (FIC) Online Programme will run on the following term dates:-
  • 1 October 2015 - 31 March 2016
Registrations will close on 29 September.

Costs include full access to the online campus, associated learning materials and the examination fee.

Payment can be made by secure online credit card or by invoice. Please note that selecting the invoice method will add £50 (administration fee) to the course price. Multiple candidates from the same company can request one invoice, reducing the overall administration fee.  


Contact:


Should you have any queries about the Fixed Income Certificate Online Programme please contact education@icmagroup.org


Terms and conditions of registration:
  • You will have six months from your designated start date to study and complete the programme.
  • There is an exam at the end of the course and this must be taken at an approved local test centre. The cost of the exam is included in the course fee.  You can take the exam at any stage within your designated study period
  • The last date for taking your exam will be the final day of your study period: your start and end date for the course will be communicated to you upon your registration and payment for the course.
  • By registering for the course you agree to adhere to the start and finish dates for the programme. Please ensure when registering that you are able to complete the course within the allotted timeframe.
  • Once you register for any ICMA Executive Education online course, you are restricted from transferring to an alternative start or end date unless there are extenuating circumstances, which will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the University of Reading. The University’s decision is final.


Fixed Income Certificate holders
 
The full list of candidates who have successfully passed the FIC examination (previously known as the IFID, GCP and AIBD European Seminar) can be found here.



Michal Klestinec

Organisation: National Bank of Slovakia
Job title: Senior Portfolio Manager

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
Portfolio management of own investment portfolio consisting of covered bonds, government bonds and senior unsecured bonds, together with its hedging and monitoring.

Reasons for taking the course:
I discussed the opportunity of developing my knowledge with other market participants and one of the proposed certificates was the IFID.  The description of the certificate and its straight focus on the part of financial markets I cover was the reason I decided to study the certificate.

Benefits of taking this course:
The course gave me exactly what I expected based on its structure, such as an overview of all asset classes, which portfolio managers have to understand when managing their portfolios.  It helped me to better understand various areas and made my work more efficient.




Sebastiaan Zitman


Organisation: Shell Asset Management Company
Job title: Officer Corporate Actions & Static Data

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
In my current job I am responsible for the front to end processing of corporate actions on bonds.  Another challenge is to align security details with our internal systems in order to improve straight through processing of trades.

Reasons for taking the course:
Due to my educational background and working activities I have become more interested in fixed income markets.  The IFID course was a perfect fit for my personal needs to gain in depth knowledge in this particular area of the financial markets.

Benefits of taking this course:
The course provides a good understanding of bonds, futures and other related derivatives from a trading perspective. This will be very useful in my current function and potential future jobs.  Most helpful are topics covering less straightforward products like index linked bonds and ABS.




Marwan Abi Chaker


Organisation: Middle East Capital Group
Job title: Relationship Manager (In-charge of Fixed Income Sales)

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
Provide research and news to private investors;
Follow up on their portfolio position & margin positions;
Suggest Fixed Income investments;
Provide fixed income switching ideas;
Execute fixed income trades.

Reasons for taking the course:

I wanted to improve my understanding and self-development of the subject and the IFID certification has provided me with the tools and concepts. The IFID was the perfect fit.

Benefits of taking this course:
Becoming an IFID student enhanced my technical skills, understanding of concepts and awareness of all aspects of fixed income & derivatives usage. Getting enrolled indirectly in a network of professional practitioners means I will be able to stay up-to-date with any changes in trading strategies and share ideas.






 

 

Fixed Income Certficate (FIC)

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