MSRB Municipal Advisor Review - Winter 2016

MA Review Winter 2016

Frequently Asked Questions on MSRB Rule G-20

This holiday season the MSRB is reminding municipal advisors about their obligations under MSRB Rule G-20 to help prevent improprieties from arising as a result of gift giving in relation to municipal advisory activities. Read the FAQ.


On-Demand Webinars

Visit the MSRB's webinar portal to access a library of on-demand webinars, many of which are available for continuing professional education credit. On-demand webinars include overviews of new MSRB rules for municipal advisors and educational seminars for state and local governments.

Municipal Advisors: Mark Your Calendars with Annual Compliance Dates

As regulated entities, municipal advisors have multiple obligations throughout the year to maintain their registration status with the MSRB and ensure compliance with MSRB rules. Municipal advisors should be aware of the following key compliance dates in 2017.

2017: Rule G-44 Compliance Certification
On an annual basis, the chief executive officer or equivalent officer at each municipal advisor firm must certify that it has in place processes to establish, maintain, review, test and modify written compliance policies and supervisory procedures reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable rules. See MSRB Rule G-44.

January 1-26, 2017: Annual Registration Affirmation
Each January, all municipal advisor firms registered with the MSRB are required to affirm or correct their registration information on MSRB Form A-12. See MSRB Rule A-12.

January 31, 2017: Form MA-I
Recognizing that the MSRB's professional fees are calculated based on the number of Forms MA-I a municipal advisor firm has on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission as of January 31 each year, the MSRB recommends firms verify the accuracy of their Forms MA-I by January 31, 2017. See MSRB Rule A-11.

April 30, 2017: Annual Municipal Advisor Professional Fee
Invoices for the MSRB's municipal advisor professional fee, which is equal to $300 per Form MA-I on file with the SEC as of January 31 of each year, are sent the first week of April, and payment is due by April 30. See MSRB Rule A-11.

September 12, 2017: Series 50 Grace Period Ends
Municipal advisor professionals have until September 12, 2017 to take and pass the MSRB’s Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination (Series 50) to continue to engage in municipal advisor activities.

October 31, 2017: Annual Registration Fee
Each municipal advisor firm registered with the MSRB must pay an annual fee of $1,000 by October 31. Invoices are sent the first week of October. See MSRB Rule A-12.

    Professional Qualifications Update

    The Municipal Advisor Representative (Series 50) Exam is available and practicing municipal advisor representatives have until September 12, 2017 to take and pass the exam while continuing to engage in municipal advisory activities. View a list of Series 50-qualified municipal advisor representatives and their associated municipal advisor firms. After September 12, 2017, a person cannot engage in municipal advisory activities without having passed the Series 50 examination. 

    The MSRB is continuing to develop a set of professional qualification requirements and is creating a principal exam that will be required for all municipal advisors acting in a principal capacity. In addition, all municipal advisor representatives will be subject to continuing education (CE) requirements in the future. Current draft amendments to MSRB Rule G-3 aim to establish robust CE requirements for municipal advisors while balancing the need to avoid unnecessary regulatory overlap with existing CE requirements for municipal securities dealers, who may also act as municipal advisors. Read the draft provisions to establish a continuing education requirement for municipal advisors.


      New Issue Calendar Coming to EMMA


      Beginning in January 2017, users of the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website will have free, convenient access to a new issue calendar. Issuers and other market participants will be able to see new bond issues coming to market as well as final pricing scales for bond issues sold through competitive and negotiated sales. Issuers that may be planning on issuing a new security have the ability to identify, monitor and compare prices of similar issues that are coming to market or have been recently sold. The MSRB is providing the calendar to help all market participants make decisions that are right for them. Learn more about other tools and resources on EMMA.

      New Board Member Application Window Coming Soon

      The MSRB will be accepting applications for its Board of Directors beginning January 9, 2017. The Board sets the strategic direction of the organization, makes policy decisions, authorizes rulemaking and market transparency initiatives, and oversees MSRB operations. 

      To be considered for a position on the MSRB Board of Directors, candidates must submit an application, which will be available on the MSRB Board of Directors Application Portal on January 9.

      Understand the Role of the Deal Team

      MuniEdPro square logo

      For municipal advisors serving on a new issue deal team, it's important to understand and educate clients about the roles and responsibilities of that team. The MSRB’s MuniEdPro course, "The Decision to Borrow: Roles and Responsibilities of Market Participants in Fixed Rate Primary Market Offerings," provides an interactive lesson about the underwriting process and explains the responsibilities of municipal advisors, underwriters and various other professionals serving on a new issue deal team.

        Continuing education credit is available. Visit MuniEdPro℠.