International Capital Market Association

International Capital Market Association
Trade Association
Industry Regulation
Founded Zurich in 1969 (1969)
Headquarters Zurich
offices in London

The International Capital Market Association or ICMA is a self-regulatory organization and trade association for participants in the capital markets. Despite the name suggesting a global outlook, it has a European focus.[1] It was formed in July 2005 by the merger of the International Primary Market Association and the International Securities Market Association (formerly the International Association of Bond Dealers).[2] ICMA stated aims are to promote high standards of market practice, appropriate regulation, trade support, education and communication.[3] It produces standard documentation for transactions such as equity and debt issuance and repos.

ICMA market conventions and standards have been the pillars of the international debt market for almost 40 years, providing the self-regulatory framework of rules governing market practice which have facilitated the orderly functioning and impressive growth of the market.[4]


The International Capital Market Association was formed in July 2005 from the merger International Primary Market Association and the International Securities Market Association to create an association that covered both primary and secondary international capital markets.

The association has its roots in the creation of the Eurobond market in the early 1960s. Eurobonds created a new market in borrowing in US dollars offshore to avoid US tax regulations, but this itself introduced new problems with settlement and regulation across different jurisdictions. In response a group of bond dealers representing banks and securities firms established the Association of International Bond Dealers (AIBD) in 1969.

In the years that followed, AIBD enacted a series of rules and recommendations governing market practice, providing stability and order to the international capital market.

In the 1980s AIBD began to provide data services to the market and in 1989 launched the transaction matching, confirmation and regulatory reporting system, known as TRAX. In 1992 AIBD changed its name to International Securities Market Association (ISMA).

Separately the International Primary Market Association (IPMA) was founded in 1984 by a number of major banks to provide basic recommendations for the primary capital market.

In April 2009, ICMA sold its market services business, including TRAX, to Euroclear.


Since the inception of its European Seminar in 1974, the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) has been committed to providing high quality ICMA Executive Education to its members and to the market at large. The establishment by the Association of the ICMA Centre at The University of Reading in 1991, and its subsequent financial support, has succeeded in creating an institution which is setting the standards in the application of information technology to financial markets education.[5]

See also


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