Professional Certificate in Complex Financial Instruments in international financial services

Start Date: 05/02/2018

Duration: 1 semester (part time)

Location: The Institute of Banking

Accreditation: Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications(NFQ)

CPD Hours: At least 8 hours, depending on designation, contact for details

Full Fee: €1,250

Network Members Fee: €940

Programme overview

The module develops your knowledge and understanding of complex financial instruments which are employed extensively in financial services. It introduces financial products such as exchange traded funds (ETFs) and derivatives including futures, options, forwards and swaps as well as structured products such as asset backed securities (ABSs) and contracts-for-difference (CFDs).

The aim of the module is to develop a solid foundation in complex financial instruments in terms of their use, benefits and associated risk/return trade-offs, how financial institutions report and account for these financial instruments and their application to hedging, speculation and arbitrage.

Programme Objectives

The overall aim of the programme is to develop your technical knowledge and skills in derivative instruments. On successful completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • Explain how the most common complex financial instruments and derivatives work and understand their uses in the funds industry
  • Evaluate the benefits and risks of differing instruments and explain how they can be used for speculation, arbitrage, hedging and general risk management
  • Describe how these instruments are used for investment strategies within the major asset classes (equities, currencies, bonds, commodities and property)
  • Appraise the role of regulation and the rating agencies in the application of financial instruments
  • Understand the role that complex financial instruments played in the recent market turmoil and what lessons can be learnt for the future
  • Review the use of complex financial instruments in financial institutions from an internal and external viewpoint, including accounting treatment/reporting, risk management and regulation.

Who Should Attend?

This programme is designed for an ever increasing range of people working in the international financial services area and specifically the funds industry who are engaged in activities which now require a good working knowledge of the characteristics of derivative products and complex financial instruments.

This is a practical based foundation programme for understanding derivatives and provides candidates with a strong comprehension of derivatives.

What are the Entry Requirements?

Experience in derivatives, although preferable, is not a requirement for attending the Professional Certificate in Complex Financial Instruments in International Financial Services.

Programme Syllabus

  • Options
  • Futures/Forwards
  • Credit Derivatives
  • Structured Products
  • Understanding Exchange Traded Funds and Contracts for Difference and UCITS
  • Measuring and Controlling Risk
  • Accounting for Derivatives
  • Implications of Derivatives usage
  • Convertible Bonds
  • Collaterised Mortgage Obligations (CMOs)
  • Collaterised Debt Obligations (CDOs)
  • Mortgage Backed Securities (MBSs)/Asset Backed Securities (ABSs)
  • Exchange Traded Funds (EFTs)
  • Credit Default Swaps (CDSs)
  • Contracts for Difference (CFDs)

The Institute of Banking is a recognised college of University College Dublin.

Programme Delivery

Delivery Period – One Semester

Lecture Schedule – 8 evening lectures (3 hours)

Location – The Institute of Banking, Dublin 1

Registration Closing date – 22/09/2017


Exam Format: Written, essay style questions. Passmark: 40%  Duration: 120 minutes

Trainer Profile

Programme Leader – Kevin McConnell

Kevin McConnell, a Chartered Financial Analyst, is director of strategy at K3, a company he founded in 2012.  Formerly, Kevin was head of research at Bloxham Stockbrokers. He is a member of the CFA Institute in Ireland and is a Registered Stockbroker with the Irish Stock Exchange, and is a graduate of University College Dublin. Kevin specialises in overall investment strategy, advising institutional investors and the in-house funds on investment decision making. Over the past 10 years, Kevin has been heavily involved in a corporate advisory role to Irish public listed companies, specialising in identifying strategies for maximising shareholder value. He was recently voted “Best Equity Strategist in 2009″ in the annual Institutional Stockbroking Survey conducted by Finance magazine, and his work has widely covered in the domestic and international media.

Programme Structure

Emphasis in the lectures is on the communication of key concepts and on the practical application of these concepts using examples and illustrations. Participants are expected to have read material in advance of the lectures and to participate in classroom discussions.

Lectures will take place in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), Dublin.

Learning Supports and Assessment

When your registration has been processed you will have access to the following learning supports:

  • Access to the online Student Centre (using your password which will be sent to you following registration), including:
  • Individual lecture and examination schedule
  • Lecture notes and handouts
  • Past exam papers
  • Secure access to your examination results