Rule G-37 Political Contributions and Prohibitions on Municipal Securities Business

(a) Purpose. The purpose and intent of this rule are to ensure that the high standards and integrity of the municipal securities industry are maintained, to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to perfect a free and open market and to protect investors and the public interest by: (i) prohibiting brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers from engaging in municipal securities business with issuers if certain political contributions have been made to officials of such issuers; and (ii) requiring brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers to disclose certain political contributions, as well as other information, to allow public scrutiny of political contributions and the municipal securities business of a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer.


(b) Ban on Municipal Securities Business.

(i) No broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall engage in municipal securities business with an issuer within two years after any contribution to an official of such issuer made by:

(A) the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer;

(B) any municipal finance professional associated with such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer; or

(C) any political action committee controlled by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer or by any municipal finance professional;

provided, however, that this section shall not prohibit the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer from engaging in municipal securities business with an issuer if the only contributions made by the persons and entities noted above to officials of such issuer within the previous two years were made by municipal finance professionals to officials of such issuer for whom the municipal finance professionals were entitled to vote and which contributions, in total, were not in excess of $250 by any municipal finance professional to each official of such issuer, per election.

(ii) For an individual designated as a municipal finance professional solely pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (g)(iv) of this rule, the provisions of paragraph (b)(i) shall apply to contributions made by such individual to officials of an issuer prior to becoming a municipal finance professional only if such individual solicits municipal securities business from such issuer.

(iii) For an individual designated as a municipal finance professional solely pursuant to subparagraph (C), (D) or (E) of paragraph (g)(iv) of this rule, the provisions of paragraph (b)(i) shall apply only to contributions made during the period beginning six months prior to the individual becoming a municipal finance professional.


(c) Prohibition on Soliciting and Coordinating Contributions.

(i) No broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer or any municipal finance professional of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall solicit any person, including but not limited to any affiliated entity of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, or political action committee to make any contribution, or shall coordinate any contributions, to an official of an issuer with which the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer is engaging or is seeking to engage in municipal securities business.

(ii) No broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer or any individual designated as a municipal finance professional of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer pursuant to subparagraphs (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (g)(iv) of this rule shall solicit any person, including but not limited to any affiliated entity of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, or political action committee to make any payment, or shall coordinate any payments, to a political party of a state or locality where the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer is engaging or is seeking to engage in municipal securities business.


(d) Circumvention of Rule. No broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer or any municipal finance professional shall, directly or indirectly, through or by any other person or means, do any act which would result in a violation of sections (b) or (c) of this rule.


(e) Required Disclosure to Board.

(i) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (e)(ii), each broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall, by the last day of the month following the end of each calendar quarter (these dates correspond to January 31, April 30, July 31 and October 31) send to the Board Form G-37 setting forth, in the prescribed format, the following information:

(A) for contributions to officials of issuers (other than a contribution made by a municipal finance professional or a non-MFP executive officer to an official of an issuer for whom such person is entitled to vote if all contributions by such person to such official of an issuer, in total, do not exceed $250 per election) and payments to political parties of states and political subdivisions (other than a payment made by a municipal finance professional or a non-MFP executive officer to a political party of a state or a political subdivision in which such person is entitled to vote if all payments by such person to such political party, in total, do not exceed $250 per year) made by the persons and entities described in subclause (2) of this clause (A):

(1) the name and title (including any city/county/state or political subdivision) of each official of an issuer and political party receiving contributions or payments during such calendar quarter, listed by state;

(2) the contribution or payment amount made and the contributor category of each of the following persons and entities making such contributions or payments during such calendar quarter:

(a) the broker, dealer or  municipal securities dealer;

(b) each municipal finance professional;

(c) each non-MFP executive officer; and

(d) each political action committee controlled by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer or by any municipal finance professional;

(B) for contributions to bond ballot campaigns (other than a contribution made by a municipal finance professional or a non-MFP executive officer to a bond ballot campaign for a ballot initiative with respect to which such person is entitled to vote if all contributions by such person to such bond ballot campaign, in total, do not exceed $250 per ballot initiative) made by the persons and entities described in subclause (2) of this clause (B):

(1) the official name of each bond ballot campaign receiving contributions during such calendar quarter, and the jurisdiction (including city/county/state or political subdivision) by or for which municipal securities, if approved, would be issued, listed by state;

(2) the contribution amount made (which, in the case of in-kind contributions, must include both the value and the nature of the goods or services provided, including any ancillary services provided to, on behalf of, or in furtherance of the bond ballot campaign), the specific date on which the contribution was made, and the contributor category of each of the following persons and entities making such contributions during such calendar quarter:

(a) the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer;

(b) each municipal finance professional;

(c) each non-MFP executive officer; and

(d) each political action committee controlled by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer or by any municipal finance professional;

(3) the full issuer name and full issue description of any primary offering resulting from the bond ballot campaign to which a contribution required to be disclosed pursuant to this clause (B) has been made, or to which a contribution has been made by a municipal finance professional or a non-MFP executive officer during the period beginning two years prior to such individual becoming a municipal finance professional or a non-MFP executive officer that would have been required to be disclosed if such individual had been a municipal finance professional or a non-MFP executive officer at the time of such contribution and the reportable date of selection on which the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer was selected to engage in such municipal securities business, reported in the calendar quarter in which the closing date for the issuance that was authorized by the bond ballot campaign occurred; and

(4) the payments or reimbursements, related to any bond ballot contribution, received by each broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer or any of its municipal finance professionals from any third party that are required to be disclosed pursuant to this clause (B), including the amount paid and the name of the third party making such payment.

(C) a list of issuers with which the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer has engaged in municipal securities business during such calendar quarter, listed by state, along with the type of municipal securities business;

(D) any information required to be included on Form G-37 for such calendar quarter pursuant to paragraph (e)(iii);

(E) such other identifying information required by Form G-37; and

(F)  whether any contribution listed in this paragraph (e)(i) is the subject of an automatic exemption pursuant to section (j) of this rule, and the date of such automatic exemption.

The Board shall make public a copy of each Form G-37 received from any broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer.

(ii) No broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall be required to send Form G-37 to the Board for any calendar quarter in which either:

(A) such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer has no information that is required to be reported pursuant to clauses (A) through (D) of paragraph (e)(i) for such calendar quarter; or

(B) such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer has not engaged in municipal securities business, but only if such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer:

(1) had not engaged in municipal securities business during the seven consecutive calendar quarters immediately preceding such calendar quarter; and

(2) has sent to the Board completed Form G-37x setting forth, in the prescribed format, (a) a certification to the effect that such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer did not engage in municipal securities business during the eight consecutive calendar quarters immediately preceding the date of such certification, (b) certain acknowledgments as are set forth in said Form G-37x regarding the obligations of such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer in connection with Forms G-37 and G-37x under this paragraph (e)(ii) and rule G-8(a)(xvi), and (c) such other identifying information required by Form G-37x; provided that, if a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer has engaged in municipal securities business subsequent to the submission of Form G-37x to the Board, such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall be required to submit a new Form G-37x to the Board in order to again qualify for an exemption under this clause (B).  The Board shall make public a copy of each Form G-37x received from any broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer.

(iii) If a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer engages in municipal securities business during any calendar quarter after not having reported on Form G-37 the information described in clause (A) of paragraph (e)(i) for one or more contributions or payments made during the two-year period preceding such calendar quarter solely as a result of clause (B) of paragraph (e)(ii), such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall include on Form G-37 for such calendar quarter all such information (including year and calendar quarter of such contributions or payments) not so reported during such two-year period.

(iv) A broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer that submits Form G-37 or Form G-37x to the Board shall either:

(A) send two copies of such form to the Board by certified or registered mail, or some other equally prompt means that provides a record of sending; or

(B) submit an electronic version of such form to the Board in such format and manner specified in the current Instructions for Forms G-37 and G-37x.


(f) Voluntary Disclosure to Board. The Board will accept additional information related to contributions made to officials of issuers and payments to political parties of states and political subdivisions voluntarily submitted by brokers, dealers or municipal securities dealers or others provided that such information is submitted in accordance with section (e) of this rule.


(g) Definitions.

(i) The term "contribution" means any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value made:

(A) to an official of an issuer:

(1) for the purpose of influencing any election for federal, state or local office;

(2) for payment of debt incurred in connection with any such election; or

(3) for transition or inaugural expenses incurred by the successful candidate for state or local office; or

(B) to a bond ballot campaign:

(1) for the purpose of influencing (whether in support of or opposition to) any ballot initiative seeking authorization for the issuance of municipal securities through public approval obtained by popular vote;

(2) for payment of debt incurred in connection with any such ballot initiative; or

(3) for payment of the costs of conducting any such ballot initiative.

(ii) The term "issuer" means the governmental issuer specified in section 3(a)(29) of the Act.

(iii) The term "broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer" used in this rule does not include its associated persons.

(iv) The term "municipal finance professional" means:

(A) any associated person primarily engaged in municipal securities representative activities, as defined in rule G-3(a)(i), provided, however, that sales activities with natural persons shall not be considered to be municipal securities representative activities for purposes of this subparagraph (A);

(B) any associated person (including but not limited to any affiliated person of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, as defined in rule G-38) who solicits municipal securities business;

(C) any associated person who is both (i) a municipal securities principal or a municipal securities sales principal and (ii) a supervisor of any persons described in subparagraphs (A) or (B);

(D) any associated person who is a supervisor of any person described in subparagraph (C) up through and including, in the case of a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer other than a bank dealer, the Chief Executive Officer or similarly situated official and, in the case of a bank dealer, the officer or officers designated by the board of directors of the bank as responsible for the day-to-day conduct of the bank’s municipal securities dealer activities, as required pursuant to rule G-1(a); or

(E) any associated person who is a member of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer (or, in the case of a bank dealer, the separately identifiable department or division of the bank, as defined in rule G-1) executive or management committee or similarly situated officials, if any; provided, however, that, if the only associated persons meeting the definition of municipal finance professional are those described in this subparagraph (E), the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall be deemed to have no municipal finance professionals.

Each person designated by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer as a municipal finance professional pursuant to rule G-8(a)(xvi) is deemed to be a municipal finance professional. Each person designated a municipal finance professional shall retain this designation for one year after the last activity or position which gave rise to the designation.

(v) The term "non-MFP executive officer" means an associated person in charge of a principal business unit, division or function or any other person who performs similar policy making functions for the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer (or, in the case of a bank dealer, the separately identifiable department or division of the bank, as defined in rule G-1), but does not include any municipal finance professional, as defined in paragraph (iv) of this section (g); provided, however, that if no associated person of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer meets the definition of municipal finance professional, the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall be deemed to have no non-MFP executive officers.

Each person listed by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer as a non-MFP executive officer pursuant to rule G-8(a)(xvi) is deemed to be a non-MFP executive officer.

(vi) The term "official of such issuer" or "official of an issuer" means any person (including any election committee for such person) who was, at the time of the contribution, an incumbent, candidate or successful candidate: (A) for elective office of the issuer which office is directly or indirectly responsible for, or can influence the outcome of, the hiring of a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer for municipal securities business by the issuer; or (B) for any elective office of a state or of any political subdivision, which office has authority to appoint any person who is directly or indirectly responsible for, or can influence the outcome of, the hiring of a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer for municipal securities business by an issuer.

(vii) The term "municipal securities business" means:

(A) the purchase of a primary offering (as defined in rule A-13(f)) of municipal securities from the issuer on other than a competitive bid basis (e.g., negotiated underwriting); or

(B) the offer or sale of a primary offering of municipal securities on behalf of any issuer (e.g., private placement); or

(C) the provision of financial advisory or consultant services to or on behalf of an issuer with respect to a primary offering of municipal securities in which the dealer was chosen to provide such services on other than a competitive bid basis; or

(D) the provision of remarketing agent services to or on behalf of an issuer with respect to a primary offering of municipal securities in which the dealer was chosen to provide such services on other than a competitive bid basis.

(viii) The term "payment" means any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value.

(ix) Except as used in section (c), the term “solicit” means the taking of any action that would constitute a solicitation as defined in rule G-38(b)(i).

(x) The term "bond ballot campaign" means any fund, organization or committee that solicits or receives contributions to be used to support ballot initiatives seeking authorization for the issuance of municipal securities through public approval obtained by popular vote.

(xi) The term “reportable date of selection” means the date of the earliest to occur of: (i) the execution of an engagement letter; (ii) the execution of a bond purchase agreement; or (iii) the receipt of formal notification (provided either in writing or orally) from or on behalf of the issuer that the dealer has been selected to engage in municipal securities business.


(h) Operative Date. The prohibition on engaging in municipal securities business, as described in section (b) of this rule, arises only from contributions made on or after April 25, 1994.


(i) Application for Exemption. A registered securities association with respect to a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer who is a member of such association, or the appropriate regulatory agency as defined in Section 3(a)(34) of the Act with respect to any other broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, upon application, may exempt, conditionally or unconditionally, a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer who is prohibited from engaging in municipal securities business with an issuer pursuant to section (b) of this rule from such prohibition. In determining whether to grant such exemption, the registered securities association or appropriate regulatory agency shall consider, among other factors:

(i) whether such exemption is consistent with the public interest, the protection of investors and the purposes of this rule;

(ii) whether such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer (A) prior to the time the contribution(s) which resulted in such prohibition was made, had developed and instituted procedures reasonably designed to ensure compliance with this rule; (B) prior to or at the time the contribution(s) which resulted in such prohibition was made, had no actual knowledge of the contribution(s); (C) has taken all available steps to cause the contributor involved in making the contribution(s) which resulted in such prohibition to obtain a return of the contribution(s); and (D) has taken such other remedial or preventive measures, as may be appropriate under the circumstances, and the nature of such other remedial or preventive measures directed specifically toward the contributor who made the relevant contribution and all employees of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer;

(iii) whether, at the time of the contribution, the contributor was a municipal finance professional or otherwise an employee of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, or was seeking such employment;

(iv) the timing and amount of the contribution which resulted in the prohibition;

(v) the nature of the election (e.g, federal, state or local); and

(vi) the contributor’s apparent intent or motive in making the contribution which resulted in the prohibition, as evidenced by the facts and circumstances surrounding such contribution.


(j) Automatic Exemptions.

(i) A broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer that is prohibited from engaging in municipal securities business with an issuer pursuant to section (b) of this rule as a result of a contribution made by a municipal finance professional may exempt itself from such prohibition, subject to subparagraphs (ii) and (iii) of this section, upon satisfaction of the following requirements: (1) the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer must have discovered the contribution which resulted in the prohibition on business within four months of the date of such contribution; (2) such contribution must not have exceeded $250; and (3) the contributor must obtain a return of the contribution within 60 calendar days of the date of discovery of such contribution by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer.

(ii) A broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer is entitled to no more than two automatic exemptions per 12-month period.

(iii) A broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer may not execute more than one automatic exemption relating to contributions by the same municipal finance professional regardless of the time period.