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Primary Market Certificate (PMC)
Attending the course will help you:
  • Review financing decisions and the choice between debt and equity
  • Examine the characteristics of different borrower types; sovereign, supranational and agencies (SSAs), financial institutions and corporates
  • Understand the mechanics of the covered bond market and its increasing importance in primary issuance
  • Explore events of default, debt ranking and covenants

Course background

This is a second level qualification intended 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 therefore will have all the requisite tools to add value now to their company’s activities in the primary markets.

Who should attend?

The PMC 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 programme is most suited to those in the early stages of focusing on primary market activities, but is open to anyone who would benefit from a more complete knowledge of the debt primary markets.

Programme Recognition

This is an accredited course under the Solicitors Regulation Authority (formerly The Law Society's) CPD Scheme. Solicitors may claim 26 hours CPD credit for their attendance of the whole course.

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

Because of its use of professional experts, key market practitioners and practical case studies the PMC structure i.e. the order of the programme and the content of modules, is flexible.While the order of modules may change the syllabus covers the following areas:

1. Corporate Finance Theory
Understanding the financing decision and the choice between debt and equity.

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

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 attributes of a bond and examining key variations.

5. Credit

Understanding the credit rating process, Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) and credit enhancement.

6. Working with Swaps

Understanding swaps and swap pricing and the value of comparative advantage in the liability context.

7. Hybrid Capital

Examining permissable hybrid capital issuance structures under Basel III and Insolvency 2.

8. Securitisation
Understanding the key drivers for securitisation and reviewing current issuance activity.

9. Covered bonds
Understanding the mechanics of the covered bond market and its increasing importance in primary issuance.

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

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

12. Syndication
Syndication practices, their aims and effects.

13. Pricing, Launch and Distribution

Pricing for success, launch requirements and good market practice.

14. IPMA’s Role and Legal and Documentation

Full documentary requirements for a transaction.

15. Closing and Settlement procedures

16. Regulation and the Primary Markets
US Regulation
EU Regulation

PMC course timetable (2013 guideline)

Details of the next seminars:
17-21 November 2014


Etc. Venues
Dexter House
No. 2 Royal Mint Court
Tower Hill
United Kingdom

To register your interest for the next publicly scheduled courses, e-mail education@icmagroup.org.


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

The following discount scale is offered:
2 to 4 candidates – 5% discount each*
5+ candidates – 10% discount each*

*Please note that discounts are applied by way of a refund to the organisation when registration has closed and the final number of candidates from the firm has been determined.

*Please note that if you require accommodation for the course in London, this will be your own responsibility; the programme is class-based, but it is a non-residential course.

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.

Should you have any queries about the seminar please contact:

Chris O'Malley
PMC Programme Director

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).

ICMA primary market handbook
ICMA members register
ICMA rule book
ICMA legal opinion
ICMA legal queries

ICMA Executive Education