MSRB Holds First Quarterly Board Meeting of FY 2020

Date: October 25, 2019

Contact: Leah Szarek, Director of Communications
               202-838-1500
               lszarek@msrb.org

MSRB HOLDS FIRST QUARTERLY BOARD MEETING OF FY 2020

Washington, DC - The Board of Directors of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) met on October 23-24, 2019 for its first in-person meeting of Fiscal Year 2020. The Board’s standing committees and special committees met to set their priorities for the year and begin work, and the full Board discussed regulatory coordination and the organization’s cloud migration, among other topics.

“Much of the Board’s important oversight work and strategic thinking happens at the committee level,” said Board Chair Ed Sisk. “With two special committees leading the MSRB’s governance review and CEO search, and the creation of our new standing committee on stakeholder engagement, I look forward to an especially productive year.”

Read more about the MSRB’s FY 2020 priorities.

The Board’s CEO Search Special Committee interviewed executive search firms to facilitate the broad-based nationwide search for a new president and CEO. The Governance Review Special Committee discussed priority areas for its wide-ranging review of MSRB governance practices, including the size of the Board and selection of public and regulated members, which are established under MSRB Rule A-3.

Regulatory Coordination
The Board approved acting on the recommendation of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee that the MSRB coordinate with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on further analysis of a practice in the corporate and municipal bond auction process referred to as “pennying.”

“The MSRB seeks to coordinate with FINRA on any matters that cut across the corporate and municipal bond markets to ensure our regulatory approaches are harmonized to the extent possible,” Sisk said.

The Board also directed staff to analyze the potential regulatory and market impacts of the SEC’s proposed order to grant conditional exemptive relief, which would, if granted by the SEC, permit municipal advisors to engage in certain limited activities in connection with the direct placement of municipal securities without registering as a broker.

As previously announced, the MSRB plans to coordinate closely with the SEC and FINRA to consider the impact of SEC Regulation Best Interest on MSRB rules.

Market Transparency
The Board received an update on the enterprise-scale migration of MSRB market transparency systems and data to the cloud.

“The Technology Committee and the full Board will closely monitor the MSRB’s journey to the cloud,” Sisk said. “We are committing the largest investment of resources since the launch of our Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website to enhance the long-term reliability, data quality and security of our market transparency systems.”


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.