MSRB Comments on Proposed SEC Final Municipal Advisor Registration Rules

Date: February 23, 2011

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


Alexandria, VA – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) has filed a comment letter with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the SEC’s proposed permanent registration rules for municipal advisors.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) requires that municipal advisors register with the SEC and granted the MSRB the authority to regulate municipal advisors.

In general, the MSRB supports the SEC’s proposed rules and believes their requirements will assist the SEC in its examination and enforcement activities regarding municipal advisors. The comment letter notes that the MSRB has initiated its own rulemaking activities related to municipal advisors and the SEC’s proposed permanent rules are likely to have a significant impact on the substance, interpretation and enforcement of MSRB rulesboth those that have been adopted and as well as future rules.

The MSRB’s comment letter suggests certain refinements to definitions in the SEC’s proposed rules. It addresses, among other topics, the definition of “investment strategies,” as well as various exclusions from the definition of “municipal advisor,” including treatment of members of governing bodies of municipal entities. The MSRB recommends that all such members of governing bodies be excluded from the definition of “municipal advisor” since Congress did not intend to regulate municipal entities’ internal activities.

Read the MSRB's comment letter.

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.