MSRB Reminds Municipal Advisors of Registration Requirement

Date: December 13, 2010

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer
              (703) 797-6600


Alexandria, VA – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today reminded municipal advisors that they must be registered with the MSRB prior to engaging in municipal advisory activities. Municipal advisors that are not registered with the MSRB by December 31, 2010 will be in violation of MSRB rules.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) expanded the regulatory jurisdiction of the MSRB to include municipal advisors. The MSRB reminded municipal advisors that, effective November 15, 2010, municipal advisors must register with the MSRB in addition to registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The MSRB’s registration requirement applies to firms; individuals are not required to register with the MSRB as municipal advisors unless they are sole proprietors. Municipal advisors already registered with the MSRB as a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer must register separately with the MSRB as a municipal advisor by updating their existing MSRB account.

Municipal advisor registration instructions are available on the MSRB Registration page of the website, at A municipal advisory business should refer to the municipal securities provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and consult with legal counsel if there is uncertainty regarding whether the firm must register as a municipal advisor.

Municipal advisors include financial advisors that provide advice to issuers and obligated persons regarding municipal bond offerings, swap advisors that provide municipal entities with advice in connection with derivatives transactions, and brokers and other advisors that provide advice or assistance to issuers regarding guaranteed investment contracts or the investment of municipal bond proceeds.

Municipal advisors also include firms and individuals that solicit business from municipal entities on behalf of broker-dealers, banks, other municipal advisors or investment advisers to secure certain types of investment banking, financial advisory or investment advisory work with municipal entities, such as public pension funds, 529 plans, local government investment pools and other state and local governmental entities or funds. 

Municipal entities that use the services of municipal advisors, including state and local government issuers, public pension plans and other obligated persons, may refer to the Registered Municipal Advisors page on the MSRB website for a list of municipal advisors registered with the MSRB.

The MSRB protects investors, state and local governments and other municipal entities, and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB fulfills this mission by regulating the municipal securities firms, banks and municipal advisors that engage in municipal securities and advisory activities. To further protect market participants, the MSRB provides market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, the official repository for information on all municipal bonds. The MSRB also serves as an objective resource on the municipal market, conducts extensive education and outreach to market stakeholders, and provides market leadership on key issues. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization governed by a 21-member board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress.