MSRB Reminds Municipal Advisors of Registration Deadline and SEC Guidance on Definition of Municipal Advisor

Date: December 29, 2010

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


Alexandria, VA − The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today reminded municipal advisors that have engaged in any municipal advisory activities on or after October 1, 2010 that they must register with the MSRB by no later than December 31, 2010 in order to avoid violating MSRB rules adopted pursuant to the MSRB’s expanded regulatory authority under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Any municipal advisor that engages in municipal advisory activities after December 31, 2010 without having first registered with the MSRB also will be in violation of MSRB rules. Any broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer that acts as a municipal advisor is required to register with the MSRB as a municipal advisor even if the dealer has previously registered with the MSRB as a dealer. Municipal advisor registration instructions are available on the registration page of the MSRB’s website, at

Prior to registering with the MSRB, all municipal advisors must first register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under its temporary registration process through the SEC’s website. Municipal advisors are required to register with both the SEC and the MSRB – registration with one regulatory organization will not satisfy the registration requirement of the other regulatory organization.

On December 20, 2010, the SEC published a proposal to establish a permanent SEC registration regime under the Dodd-Frank Act that would, upon approval and implementation, replace the SEC’s temporary registration process, currently expected to occur on or about December 31, 2011. The SEC proposal discusses a number of interpretative issues relevant in determining whether a market participant is considered a municipal advisor for purposes of the Dodd-Frank Act and therefore is subject to the registration and regulatory requirements of the SEC and the MSRB.  Any market participant that is uncertain about whether it is engaging in municipal advisory activities requiring registration with the SEC and the MSRB should review the SEC proposal.

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.