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Message from Leadership

Letter from the Board Chair and the CEO (January 2024)


board chair and ceo

Dear Stakeholders,

Established by Congress as a private, self-regulatory organization (SRO), the MSRB is proud to serve as the principal regulator of the municipal securities market, working to protect investors, issuers and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient market. We have faithfully fulfilled this Congressional mandate for nearly 50 years, helping to strengthen the $4 trillion market that provides access to the capital necessary to build roads, schools, hospitals and other essential public infrastructure in tens of thousands of communities across the country.

The value the MSRB delivers to the municipal securities market rests on the independence and expertise that are the defining features of our SRO model. Our governing board comprises municipal market experts—investors, issuers, dealers and municipal advisors, and others—whose knowledge and perspectives are essential to ensuring not only that the MSRB’s rules are necessary and appropriate, but also that they are fair and balanced.

The MSRB also delivers value to the market through our market transparency products and services. We operate the critical technology systems that allow our market to function, and we enhance market transparency by serving as the central and sole repository for market data and making this information available to the public for free on our Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website.

Our commitment to transparency extends to our own corporate governance and fiscal stewardship. We uphold the public’s trust by being transparent about our regulatory priorities and by consistently engaging with market stakeholders as we advance key initiatives. And we are transparent about how we allocate and spend the resources we receive from regulated entities by publishing an annual budget report and audited financial statements on our website. In response to stakeholder feedback, we are providing additional detail in our annual budget report this year about our technology expenses.

Now midway through our fiscal year (FY) 2022–2025 Strategic Plan, we have advanced a number of key initiatives that we believe will deliver significant value to the market in the coming years.

  • Modernizing Municipal Market Regulation and the MSRB Rule Book. In 2023, the MSRB continued to work with fellow regulators to enhance post-trade transparency in the municipal market and to modernize and streamline the MSRB rule book. Among other initiatives, we advanced a rule proposal to shorten the timeframe for trades to be reported to the MSRB, facilitated the transition to T+1 settlement for municipal securities transactions in coordination with other financial regulators, and created a new rule establishing the core standards of conduct for solicitor municipal advisors. We also advanced steps that will codify or retire approximately 20% of the MSRB’s body of interpretive guidance since launching the MSRB rulebook modernization initiative in 2021, significantly reducing the compliance burden on regulated entities of sifting through the guidance to understand MSRB rules and their applications to modern market practices.
  • Enhancing Market Transparency through Technology and Data. We made important user-driven enhancements to the EMMA platform to enhance the accuracy and quality of the information available on EMMA and to provide additional market transparency for market participants, including adding an hourly municipal yield curve and retiring individual user accounts to give issuers greater control of their information. We also introduced a new structured data lab in EMMA Labs, the MSRB’s innovation sandbox, with the goal of educating municipal market participants about structured data by defining key concepts and terms, providing informative case studies from municipal issuers and demonstrating one possible application of structured data in a future state version of EMMA.
  • Advancing the Public Trust through Transparency and Accountability. In 2023, the MSRB implemented a new process to establish fees on regulated entities with the introduction of a rate card model, which annually adjusts rates to better manage market volatility and the MSRB’s reserve fund. As noted in our annual budget, our reserve balance is now projected to be on target and nearly half what it was only three years ago. We are confident that with our new rate card model, we will be able to better manage our reserves and avoid the accumulation of excess reserves going forward. Equally important, the MSRB’s new process for assessing rates provides greater transparency into the rate-setting process as well as greater accountability to the regulated entities that pay those fees by automatically returning any operating surplus in one year in the form of lower rates the following year.

Looking ahead, we remain committed to delivering value and upholding the public’s trust by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. This means we will continue to invest in the critical technology needed to provide transparency to the market and to adopt new rules and amend our existing rules as necessary to make sure they reflect changing market practices. We remain guided by our vision to give America the confidence to invest in its communities.



hathorn signature


Meredith L. Hathorn, Board Chair


Mark signature


Mark Kim, CEO