Young professionals who work for ICMA member firms can keep up to date with developments in the capital markets by accessing the wide range of useful resources and services of the association, including a legal and regulatory helpdesk, podcasts, webinars, and various guides and FAQs. 



The Human Side of Finance Podcast Series

ICMA Future Leaders and Humans in Finance have come together to bring to you a podcast series exploring the human side of finance. Representing the millennial voice in the industry, we lose the jargon, go behind corporate masks and unveil the various dimensions of being a human in the finance industry. Check out the trailer.

Coming tomorrow: Episode 1 - Is the grass greener on the other side?

In this podcast we explore if we can find fulfilment in the mainstream finance industry or if we need to look elsewhere to achieve this. Featuring executive coach Jill Watt and former investment banker turned not for profit sustainable finance advisor Rufus Grantham.

Followed by: Happiness in finance I Generation wars | Humanising the office I Feminine energy

So stay tuned! This is not your average finance podcast. Search ICMA Podcast on all major podcast providers

We are introducing two new regular features ‘Ask the Coach’ and ‘Ask the Trainer’ send us your career-related questions at and we will get the professionals to answer.

Ask the Coach

Executive Coach Gillian Cribbs answers your questions. 

Q. How do I get better at showcasing my work and achievements to senior colleagues? 

A. Many people shy away from showcasing their achievements because they feel uncomfortable selling themselves or appearing to brag. Yet sharing your achievements is crucial for your career development; unless senior colleagues know what you’re doing – and therefore what you are capable of – you won’t be considered for bigger projects or early promotions.

Start by keeping your boss updated on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis by email, in your 1:1s and short Powerpoint presentations. The latter also gives your boss the opportunity to share any good news with his manager and colleagues.

Find a sponsor, mentor or peer you can share your stories with – a third party can be more impactful as they talk up your success and amazing achievements. Finally, get to know people in the communications department – there may be a slot on the intranet where you can talk about what you’re doing and showcase any recent successes.

Q. Any tips for staying professional on Zoom?

A. Zoom makes virtual meetings easy but presents some challenges about online etiquette. Here are some pointers:

  • Set the stage: Keep the background tidy (e.g., a plain white wall) and ensure you have good lighting (daylight or halo light) directly on your face. Focus the camera from the chest or waist up, don’t let your face take up the whole frame.
  • Check your tech: Test camera, microphone and headphones before the call 
  • Stay engaged: Turn off all devices and look directly at the camera or top third of the screen. Sit still. 
  • Show support: Use non-verbal cues, nods, smiles or thumbs-up 
  • Dress professionally: Smart casual and keep hair tidy. No hats.
  • Stay on mute unless speaking: Background noise, including typing, is distracting 
  • No eating: A glass of water is fine 
  • Ask permission: Don’t record the call or take screenshots without permission
  • Exit politely: Thank the host and say goodbye to colleagues

Ask the Trainer

We asked two of our professional trainers from ICMA Education for their thoughts on getting skilled up for your career.

Q. I am working for a bank in the compliance area and I am keen to move to FinTech especially its applicability in fixed income. What do I need to learn to make this switch?

A. There's no set path for making a transition like this and a lot will depend on the new role and company. Much of the learning typically comes on the job - understanding new ways of working, thinking and talking by simply being in a new environment. The Primary Market FinTech course would be a good starting point - it's designed to be very accessible for people with no technology background while covering a wide spectrum of important topics and themes. There's lots to read on technology development online and in print, but titles that are often recommended include "The Innovator's Dilemma", "Crossing the Chasm", "Zero to One" and "The Hard Things About Hard things". Technology development is a very deep and expansive field but a market practitioner without a technology background can still be extremely effective in areas like driving market adoption, developing corporate and commercial strategy, contributing to product design and engaging with clients. Identifying where you can add value - and where it's more difficult to do so - is a useful approach.
Duncan Philips, ICMA trainer and Head of Europe, DirectBooks

Q. In your opinion, what is currently the most sought after skill within investment banking operations roles? 

A. In my opinion the most important skill isn’t necessarily the most sought after.  As ‘Operations’ covers many aspects and each has its own unique requirements, it is essential that leaders in this field educate themselves on the asset classes for which they are responsible. More importantly though they should have a fundamental understanding of how operations works as a whole so they can develop reliable and stable operations models for their institution while still being able to quickly adapt to new market infrastructures and settlement methods such as CCPs and tri-party management offered by some custodians.  

These fundamental skills can be achieved in part by on-the-job experience, but training programs offer the necessary knowledge and understanding to make someone much sought after by both the employers and the client. I believe some great courses and resources would be the SOFQ and OCP course offered by ICMA – the latter in particular provides a broad industry recognized and examined training in securities and derivative settlement.
Hasse Brandt, ICMA trainer in Financial Markets Operations

New ICMA Future Leaders FinTech Working Group

The newly formed IFL FinTech Working Group aims to engage the IFL community in ICMA’s FinTech work and provide a network to exchange ideas and present information on FinTech topics of interest relating to international debt capital markets. We now have around 15 members with knowledge and expertise in FinTech across debt capital markets from law firms, banks, market infrastructure, and other organisations. The group will be Chaired by IFL steering committee member Alejandro Martin Parrilla with support from ICMA’s Rowan Varrall. We are keen to hear about topics of interest or initiatives for the group to explore.

Contact us to join or to find out more 

Sign up for the ICMA FinTech newsletter by clicking on the FinTech box.

Expanding the ICMA network in Hong Kong

With the local COVID situation improving in some areas of Asia Pacific, we hope to start organising pilot face-to-face IFL activities in Hong Kong. 

If you are interested in joining the ICMA Future Leaders community in Hong Kong please contact us at:

Please feel free to forward this to your colleagues working at ICMA member firms in Hong Kong to might like to participate. We also welcome your advice on what other activities we could organise in Asia Pacific and globally.

Mentoring to kickstart your career

Having a mentor is one of the most important things a person can do to enhance their career and professional life, in fact, it's often mentioned by senior executives as a contributor to their success. 

It’s important to understand the difference between having a coach and having a mentor. The coach's role tends to be to show you what to do and provide you with answers. On the other hand, a mentor is someone who discusses things with you, helps to widen your perspective, encourages you to think of and evaluate different options and solutions, helps identify obstacles you need to overcome and acts as an impartial sounding board. When you work with a mentor, you make your own decisions and find your solutions. 

ICMA’s mentoring platform is designed for professionals in the debt capital markets connecting people across the industry and across regions with access open to staff at all 600 of ICMA’s member firms in 62 countries.  

Currently there are over 700 mentees and 200 mentors registered – with more than 200 ongoing, live mentoring relationships on the platform. Match with a mentor (or mentee) in a chosen area of capital markets, sustainable finance, syndicate or trading, among others. 

Find out more here 


ICMA Annual Conference

Register now for the ICMA Annual Conference, 24 June
Market developments and regulation in the primary, secondary and repo markets on the sell side and the buy side; progress on the transition from LIBOR to risk-free rates; the mainstreaming of sustainable finance; and how FinTech is revolutionising capital markets are some of the key themes that will be featured this year.

How can ICMA help you?

Take a look at ICMA’s quick reference guide – a one pager explaining the essentials of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).

The SFDR is an important part of the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan, which is designed to mobilise finance for sustainable growth. It is mainly meant to enhance ESG transparency of financial products and those who issue them.



ICMA Education

Primary Market Financial Technology - Livestreamed

This new ICMA Education course is designed to provide an accessible review of the role of technology in the primary markets, both now and in the future. Covering topics such as digital bookbuilding, digital assets, AI, machine learning and how banks talk to tech, the course has been developed by Duncan Philips, and features a number of presentations by guest speakers from the primary market fintech space including Alan Schmoll (CEO, Pave); Gavin Youll (CFO, Nivaura), Brett Chappell (Managing Partner, Sherpa Edge) and Tiago Pina (Senior Software Engineer, Cosaic). This will be an interactive course with plenty of opportunities to engage with some of the key figures in fintech, and we highly recommend booking early to avoid missing out!

The inaugural livestreamed course will be delivered over six sessions on June 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 from 10am-13:30pm CEST


ICMA Media Library

Check out ICMA’s media library featuring webinars and podcasts on a variety of current issues and themes relating to capital markets, including sustainable finance and FinTech.

ICMA podcast      

ICMA Future Leaders: Professional life in and after the COVID-19 pandemic, from the perspective of the capital markets lawyer
After a year of unprecedented change to the way we work, there has been much discussion around how professionals more generally will need to adapt going forward
A panel of capital markets lawyers, both private practice and in house,  give their insights on this subject.

ICMA podcast  

Sustainability-Linked Bonds: update on new guidance and market practice
The Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles were published by the Green & Social Bond Principles Executive Committee in June 2020. Market experts discuss  new Q&As for sustainability-linked bonds, which are designed to promote understanding of this important new financial instrument and its place in an issuer’s overall sustainability strategy. 

ICMA podcast  

Tokenisation and Central Bank Digital Currency – the impact on bond markets
This event focused on the tokenisation of financial assets and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) with presentations from SIX Digital Exchange, BIS Innovation Hub and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.


Avanzamos Juntos: Logros y retos en la diversidad de género en el ámbito financiero | We Advance Together: Achievements and challenges in gender diversity in finance
ICMA Women’s Network Spanish event


Most popular recent episodes

ICMA podcast      

Whatever happened to underwriting?
Bond market veteran Chris O’Malley examines the role of underwriting and underwriting risk over 60 years in the cross-border bond markets.

ICMA podcast  

Enel’s sustainability strategy and the role of sustainability-linked bonds
Nicole Della Vedova, Head of Corporate Finance and Giovanni Niero, Sustainable Finance Project Leader on Enel’s journey from a green bond issuer to pioneer of sustainability-linked bonds (SLBs).

ICMA podcast  

A buyside view - bond pricing distribution today
ICMA’s Liz Callaghan talks to Ricky Goddard, Head of trading at Schroders, about current bond pricing and axe distribution practices in the EU bond markets and the challenges that the market faces today.

ICMA podcast  

Pricing climate risk
Dr Entela Benz and Dr Saurabh Singh, co-founders of Intensel on the different and sometimes unexpected aspects of climate risk and how this risk can be translated into a “climate spread” on the price of assets.

ICMA podcast  

FinTech innovation revolutionising capital markets
Stephane Malrait, Head of Market Structure and Innovation for financial markets at ING, talks to ICMA’s Martin Scheck about how finance is catching up with other industries in using data combined with AI to enhance services to clients.

ICMA podcast  

The Network for Sustainable Financial Markets – the people behind it, its purpose and scope
Rebekah Bray, Vice-Chair of ICMA Future Leaders speaks to Martina Macpherson, President of the Network for Sustainable Financial Markets (NSFM) and Head of ESG Strategy, ODDO BHF AM about NSFM and its focus to support and enable the next generation of sustainable finance experts.



Keep up to date by following the ICMA Future Leaders LinkedIn page or following us on Twitter @icmagroup




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