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Primary Market Certificate (PMC)
The Primary Market Certificate (PMC) is an essential qualification for those with an interest or involvement in the debt primary markets.

The programme examines the entire life cycle of bond issuance, from considering the financing choices through to the closing of transactions in the marketplace. While the course examines the theoretical principles underpinning the markets and the instruments and financing techniques that are available, emphasis is placed on interpreting and using that knowledge in practical case studies. Candidates who gain this qualification will have all the requisite tools to add value to their company’s activities in the primary markets.

Attending the programme will help you:
  • Understand what is involved with syndication and origination
  • Review pricing decisions and launch requirements
  • Assess current liability management techniques, their applicability and outcomes
  • Explore events of default, debt ranking and covenants
The programme places emphasis on current market practice and this is reflected in the delivery, by a combination of the course director and key market professionals.

Who should attend?

The programme is intended primarily for those working in the origination, syndication and transaction management areas of investment banks or securities houses. It is also a valuable qualification for capital markets lawyers looking to expand their understanding of the workings of the primary markets and for those employed in institutions that may be looking to raise funds in the international capital markets.

The PMC syllabus is organised around key areas, broken down into subtopics delivered by the course director and guest speakers. The programme concludes with the PMC exam:

1. Sources of Finance
Understanding the financing decision and the choice between debt and equity.

2. Borrowers
Examining the characteristics of different borrower types; corporates, financial institutions, and sovereign, supranational and agencies (SSAs).

3. Commercial Paper
Reviewing the functioning of the Euro Commercial Paper market from both an issuer's and investor's perspective.

4. Bonds
Defining the key attributes of cross-border bonds and examining variants.

5. Credit
Understanding the credit rating process, Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) and CRA regulation

6. Working with Swaps
Understanding interest rate swaps, swap pricing and the principal of comparative advantage in liability swaps.

7. Hybrid Capital
Examining the hybrid capital rules and permissable instruments under Basel III and Solvency II.

8. Securitisation
Understanding the key drivers for securitisation, reviewing the structures and reviewing the market in the light of the financial crisis.

9. Covered bonds
Understanding the mechanics of the covered bond market and the value of covered bonds for both issuers and investors

10. Investor Protection
Events of default, debt ranking and covenants.

11. Liability Management
Reviewing current liability management techniques, their applicability and outcomes.

12. Syndication
Current syndication practices, their aims and effects.

13. Pricing, Launch and Distribution
The distribution process, pricing mechanisms and market practice issues

14. Legal and Documentation
The documentary requirements for a new issue.

15. Closing and Settlement procedures

16. Regulation and the Primary Markets
US Regulation
EU Regulation
Course format

The PMC is a five day, classroom-based training course taking place in various locations across Europe.

The course is delivered by a combination of professional trainers and market professionals. The programme places emphasis on current market practice and much use is made of experienced practitioners to discuss key areas. Delegate numbers are limited to enable maximum interaction with the presenters.

The programme concludes with the PMC exam. Candidates have 90 minutes to complete a 50 question multiple choice paper.

Details of the next seminars


23-27 November 2015


Etc. Venues
Dexter House, No. 2 Royal Mint Court
Tower Hill
London EC3N 4QN
United Kingdom

9-13 May 2016


Etc. Venues
8 Eastcheap
London EC3M 1AE
United Kingdom

21-25 November 2016


Etc. Venues
8 Eastcheap
London EC3M 1AE
United Kingdom


The cost is £3,000.00 for ICMA Members and £3,900.00 for non-members.

The course fee includes all lunches, coffee breaks and training materials.

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.

Cancellation charges

Registrations for classroom-based courses are transferable to another person within the same company.

All classroom-based courses are subject to the following cancellation charges:
  • 1-7 calendar days: 50% of the gross course fee
  • Course start date or thereafter: no refund will be given
Refunds will only be processed after the completion of the relevant course and after return of any course material already provided to you. Any such material must be returned undamaged and at your own expense.

Registrations for online courses are non-transferable and non-refundable.

Please note:

The course is a non-residential learning programme, so candidates are responsible for arranging their own travel and accommodation.

Should you have any queries about the Primary Market Certificate programme please contact education@icmagroup.org.

PMC certificate holders

The names of the successful candidates from previous examinations are included in our list of certificate holders.

Johannes von Selle

Organisation: DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale
Job title: Senior Legal Counsel

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
I am the in-house legal counsel to the departments involved in the process of the issuance or syndication, maintenance and repayment of debt capital market instruments, including various kinds of stand alone issues and note programmes.

Reasons for taking the course:

The main reason for taking the course was to get a comprehensive idea of the entire life cycle of a bond issue and a more profound knowledge of market practice in the primary market.

Benefits of taking this course:
The course exceeded my expectations by involving senior market participants as lecturers and stimulating active discussions between the participants.

Pierre-Yves Druenne

Organisation: BNP Paribas Fortis
Job title: Company Lawyer

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
I am working as in the Capital Markets Securities-Legal CIB group of BNP Paribas Fortis in Brussels. I am in charge of the negotiation of the structure and the preparation of the documentation relating to securitisation transactions arranged by BNP Paribas Fortis for external or internal originators (through conduits or not). I am also in charge of the preparation of the documentation relating to the bond issues/structured products issued by external corporate/banking issuers, or issuing entities of the BNP Paribas group. My role involves daily contact with the dealing room and the corporate customers of BNP Paribas Fortis.

Reasons for taking the course:
I was wishing to improve my general knowledge of the primary market process, in all its various aspects (legal, operational, finance, pricing, strategic, rating…). I really wanted to have a global picture of the process… which I do have now!

Benefits of taking this course:

I am happy to have now a global picture of the primary market process, which will definitely help me in my day-to-day job.

Tim Mohn

Organisation: DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale
Job title: Dept Capital Markets, Vice President

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
Covering German issuers like German Hypotheken Banks, German states, special purpose banks/agencies/supras, beside this I am also responsible for some European issuers (EIB, etc.);
Responsible for the primary business for private placements, as well as benchmark issues;
Promote funding levels of the issuers to the sales groups at DekaBank;
Create funding ideas, provide regular market updates to issuers;
Finding the right new issue product which meets the requirements of the investors.

Reasons for taking the course:
Theoretical and regulatory background of the business (docs, 144A, RegS, Basel, workflow new issues, etc.).

Benefits of taking this course:

Broaden and deepen the knowledge of the business;
Regulatory and documentary knowledge;
Exchange ideas and thoughts with colleagues and market participants (networking).


Fixed Income Certficate (FIC)