MSRB Holds Quarterly Meeting

Date: July 27, 2009

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

Settlement of Syndicate Accounts, Priority of Customer
Orders Among Topics at Quarterly Meeting of the
Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board

Alexandria, VA - The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) held its quarterly meeting July 23-24, 2009 where it agreed to accelerate the settlement of syndicate and secondary market trading accounts and to request public comment on changes to rules on priority of investor orders.  The MSRB also elected new officers and Board members for fiscal year 2010.

The MSRB approved previously announced proposed changes to MSRB Rule G-11 on new issue syndicate practices, and Rule G-12, on uniform practice for dealers.  Syndicate accounts must now be settled within 30 days, instead of 60 days, after an issuer delivers securities to the syndicate.  Dealers must also settle secondary market trading accounts within 30 days, instead of 60 days, after all securities have been delivered to the account members.  The MSRB believes the shortened deadlines will reduce exposure of syndicate and secondary market trading account members, which sell and distribute new municipal bond issues, to the risk of potential deterioration in the credit of the syndicate or account manager. 

The Board also agreed to publish for public comment proposed changes to MSRB rules on the priority of customer orders for newly issued municipal securities.   Specifically, the MSRB will propose changes that would clarify the responsibilities of dealers to retail and institutional investors with respect to orders for new securities.

In other business, MSRB staff reported on the launch of the electronic primary market and continuing disclosure services on MSRB's Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) website.  The launch of these services in June and July 2009 and the availability of the associated documents made EMMA the official centralized, electronic repository for all municipal bond disclosure documents and trade data. 

At its meeting, the MSRB also extended the duration of the committee charged with conducting an ongoing review of MSRB rules through 2010. The MSRB will continue to review all of its general rules for municipal securities dealers, implementing changes if necessary to address current market practices.

As it does at every July meeting, the MSRB named a new chair and vice-chair, and approved five new Board members.  Five current Board members will complete their three-year term on Sept. 30, 2009, and the new members will assume their duties on Oct. 1, 2009.  The new MSRB officers and Board members will be announced at a later date.  The MSRB also voted to appoint Don O'Brien, Managing Director, Senior Municipal Underwriter, New York, at Morgan Keegan, to the Board to replace Steve Wool who recently left.

On July 22, 2009, the MSRB hosted an outreach event for San Francisco-area municipal market participants.  More than 80 people attended the event.

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.