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Cold Calling

Cold calling. This is in response to your letter regarding the application of rule G-3, concerning professional qualifications, to non-qualified individuals contacting institutional investors. You refer to the Board’s December 21, 1984  notice stating that non-qualified individuals making “cold calls” to individuals and introducing the services offered by a municipal securities dealer, prequalifying potential customers or suggesting the purchase of securities must be qualified as a municipal securities representative. You ask whether a non-qualified individual may make a “cold call” to an institutional portfolio manager solely for the purpose of introducing the name of the municipal securities dealer to the portfolio manager and to inquire as to the type of securities in which it invests. You state that the individual or individuals making the calls would be specifically instructed not to discuss the purchase or sale of any specific security.

Board rule G-3(a)(iii)[*] defines municipal securities representative activities to include any activity which involves communication with public investors regarding the sale of municipal securities but exempts activities that are solely clerical or ministerial. As you noted, in December 1984, the Board issued an interpretation of rule G-3 which states that individuals who solicit new account business are not engaging in clerical or ministerial activities but rather are communicating with public investors regarding the sale of municipal securities and thus are engaging in municipal securities representative activities which require such individuals to be qualified as representatives under the Board’s rules. Examples of solicitation of new account business stated in the notice included “cold calls” to individuals during which the non-qualified individual introduces the services offered by the dealers, prequalified potential customers, or suggests the purchase of specific securities currently being offered by a municipal securities dealer. An individual who introduces the name of the municipal securities dealer and inquires as to the type of securities in which a portfolio manager invests would be communicating with the public in an attempt to prequalify potential customers and thus must be qualified as a municipal securities representative. MSRB interpretation of January 5, 1987.


[*] [Currently codified at rule G-3(a)(i).]