Contact: Leah Szarek, Chief External Relations Officer
MSRB FY 2022 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS INVESTMENT IN TECHNOLOGY AND FOCUS ON LONG-TERM STRATEGIC GOALS
Washington, DC – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today published its annual budget detailing a significant investment in modernizing the municipal securities market’s critical technology systems and advancing other initiatives in support of the organization’s new long-term strategic plan. For Fiscal Year 2022 beginning today, the MSRB has allocated resources to advance its four strategic goals: modernizing market regulation, providing market transparency through technology, fueling innovation through data and upholding the public’s trust in the $4 trillion municipal securities market.
“Informed by extensive engagement with our stakeholders, we are making strategic investments focused on strengthening the capital market that facilitates economic and societal progress for communities across the country,” said MSRB Board Chair Patrick Brett in a joint letter with MSRB CEO Mark Kim.
The MSRB’s operating budget of $43 million is up from prior years by about 4%, augmented by its dedicated funds for technology modernization. By earmarking reserves for technology modernization, coupled with a temporary reduction in market-based fees that is projected to effectively return $19 million to regulated dealers by the end of FY 2022, the MSRB is bringing its reserves to approximately $38 million by fiscal year end, a 40% reduction from the beginning of FY 2021. In addition to an ongoing focus on reserve levels, the MSRB is examining its fee model with an eye toward assessing all fees paid by regulated entities to ensure an equitable and sustainable balance of funding that meets the organization’s future needs and responsibilities.
Modernizing Market Regulation
In FY 2022, the MSRB will take significant steps forward in its retrospective rule review, continuing to retire outdated interpretive guidance that no longer achieves intended purposes and modernizing its rules in light of evolving market practices, such as the increased prevalence of conducting business remotely.
Providing Market Transparency Through Technology
Following an enterprise-wide migration to the cloud, the MSRB is dedicating $17.5 million of its reserves to a multi-year strategic investment in modernizing its entire suite of market transparency systems. The largest investment in technology in the MSRB’s 45-year history will enable the MSRB to completely reimagine its free Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website and supporting information systems to better serve the needs of all market participants.
Fueling Innovation Through Data
As the municipal securities market’s central repository for data, the MSRB recognizes its responsibility to provide high-quality market data that enable comprehensive analysis of the municipal securities market. “Improving data quality and utility requires collaboration,” wrote Brett and Kim. “That’s why we have created a new innovation hub called EMMA Labs, where municipal market participants will be able to collaborate directly with our staff to generate ideas and test out concepts that could be the future of data analytic tools and services available on the free EMMA website.”
EMMA Labs, which has been available in beta version to some market stakeholders on a limited basis, is expected to be introduced to the public early in the new fiscal year.
Upholding the Public Trust
Underpinning each of the MSRB’s strategic goals for market regulation, transparency and data is a foundation of public trust. “We are committed to upholding the public trust and contributing to economic and societal progress and a more sustainable and resilient future for communities across the country,” wrote Brett and Kim, noting efforts to promote greater diversity and inclusion within the organization, on its governing Board and across the municipal market.
The Board of Directors of the MSRB oversees the organization’s budget, strategic plan and operations. The Board is welcoming a new class of four members as it transitions to a smaller Board of 15 members following a comprehensive governance review that resulted in changes to the Board’s size and composition that took effect on October 1, 2020.
The Board also announced today that Board member Seema Mohanty’s term is being extended one year to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Sonia Toledo, a municipal advisor representative on the Board. In addition, the Board is elevating oversight of stakeholder engagement to its Steering Committee, which comprises the chairs of the other standing committees (Audit and Risk, Finance, Governance and Nominating) as well as additional members of the Board.
“Input from our stakeholders informs everything that we do, and each of us on the Board share a commitment to an open dialogue with the diverse participants in the market we serve,” said Brett.
More information regarding the Board's governance, membership, and Committees and advisory groups is available at here.
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) protects and strengthens the municipal bond market, enabling access to capital, economic growth, and societal progress in tens of thousands of communities across the country. The MSRB fulfills this mission by creating trust in our market through informed regulation of dealers and municipal advisors that protects investors, issuers and the public interest; building technology systems that power our market and provide transparency for issuers, institutions, and the investing public; and serving as the steward of market data that empowers better decisions and fuels innovation for the future. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization governed by a 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.