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Disqualification of Municipal Securities Principals

Disqualification of municipal securities principals. In our recent telephone conversation you asked whether the Board has interpreted rule G-3(c)(iv)[*] as to the qualification status of a municipal securities principal in circumstances where the bank dealer, with which the individual is associated, fails to effect a municipal security transaction for a period of two or more years. You proposed that, if there are no municipal securities transactions for the principal to supervise, the individual would not be considered to be "acting as a municipal securities principal" and, consequently, the individual's qualification as a municipal securities principal would lapse after a two-year period of such inactivity.

The Board has considered a similar situation and given an interpretation in the matter. It reaffirmed the interpretation that an individual whose responsibilities no longer include supervision of municipal securities activities probably will not be able to remain adequately informed in the supervisory and compliance matters of concern to municipal securities principals, and that continuing association with a municipal securities dealer, in a capacity other than that of a municipal securities principal, is not sufficient to maintain qualification as a municipal securities principal. However, the Board also concluded that it did not intend this interpretation of rule G-3(c)(iv)[*] to mean that a dealer must necessarily effect transactions in municipal securities in order for its municipal securities principal to maintain such qualification. The Board noted that the definition of a municipal securities principal not only includes supervision of trading or sales, but of other municipal securities activities as well. Consequently, the Board determined that the qualification of a municipal securities principal should not automatically terminate because the individual is associated with a municipal securities broker or dealer which has not effected a municipal securities transaction in two or more years, but that to maintain such qualification the individual must demonstrate clearly that:

--the municipal securities broker or dealer was engaged in municipal securities activity during this period (e.g., determinations of suitability involving municipal securities, recommendations to customers, advertising, financial advisory activity with respect to municipal issuers); and

--the individual in question had been designated with supervisory responsibility for such municipal securities activities during this period.

MSRB interpretation of January 15, 1987



[*] [Currently codified at rule G-3(b)(ii)(C)]