MSRB Unveils Investor-Focused Enhancements to EMMA

Date: April 30, 2018

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer


Washington, DC – Since 2008, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) has elevated the level of municipal market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website. Ten years on, EMMA is looking to its next decade with an enhanced design and improved navigation to better serve the information needs of today’s – and tomorrow’s – municipal securities investors and other market participants. 

“For 10 years, EMMA has transformed the municipal market as the first centralized and free source of information enabling investors to make independent and informed decisions about municipal bonds,” said MSRB President Lynnette Kelly. “As the EMMA website enters its second decade, we remain committed to making it more useful and user-friendly for investors and others seeking information about municipal bonds and the market.”

EMMA’s roots date to the 1980s and the earliest attempts by industry professionals and regulators to collect and transmit municipal bond trade data and disclosure documents. But the turning point came in 2008 when the MSRB created a centralized, online source of information that would level the playing field for investors. Read more about the evolution of the EMMA website in a new white paper, Milestones in Municipal Market Transparency

The design and navigation enhancements unveiled today are part of a multi-year effort to enhance the utility and usability of the EMMA website, and are informed by extensive user experience research and input from stakeholders. Read more about the redesign in an interview with Kelly

“Among the many changes we have planned, the MSRB prioritized the needs of the individual investors EMMA was created to serve,” Kelly said. “This first phase includes navigational improvements to help investors more easily find information about individual bonds by drilling down through the intuitive map-based search functionality, and access clearly presented pricing, ratings and material information about individual issuers and their securities.”

Changes for investors include:

  • Improved homepage navigation with direct access to an interactive map to search for information about a municipal bond and its issuer by state;
  • Quick links to information for new EMMA users, interactive tools for evaluating municipal market trends and MyEMMA®, which allows investors to create custom alerts to track trading activity and the posting of new disclosure documents for particular bonds; and
  • Enhanced display of information about a specific security, including interactive graphs of trade prices and yields and a searchable listing of important disclosure documents. Effective May 14, 2018, many investors will receive a direct link to this security-specific page on their trade confirmations under new rules designed to enhance transparency of pricing. For first-time viewers, the page includes a transparent overlay that points out key information and tools for investors. 
      Take a video tour of the changes. The MSRB is hosting a webinar on “Getting to Know the New EMMA” on Thursday, May 10, 2018 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET. Register to attend

Kelly notes that the MSRB has recognized over the past decade that EMMA has become a valuable tool for additional market participants, including municipal securities issuers and financial professionals. “Future enhancements will be designed to enhance the EMMA experience for these users,” she said. 

The next phase of EMMA enhancements will focus on improvements for issuers, including an enhanced submission process for disclosure filings. A third phase will address the needs of municipal industry professionals, particularly advanced search functionality. Read about the MSRB’s long-term vision and guiding principles for developing EMMA

        Explore the EMMA website

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.