MSRB Monthly Update: December 2017

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MSRB's Renewed Vision for Evolving EMMA®

Lynnette Kelly Executive Director

As part of the MSRB's long-term strategic focus to further evolve the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, we recently published a renewed vision for EMMA that reflects its broad market utility and the ongoing information needs of all market stakeholders. We launched the EMMA website nearly a decade ago to provide retail investors with centralized, online and free access to real-time municipal securities transaction prices and disclosure documents. Given the broader market’s strong adoption of EMMA as an industry utility, we believe a vision statement that captures the interests of not only retail investors but also municipal entities, dealers, municipal advisors, institutional investors and the public is important for future development. 

We also developed a set of guiding principles to inform our priorities for future enhancements to EMMA. By establishing these guiding principles, we can ensure our investment in EMMA advances market transparency and appropriately balances costs, benefits and the public interest. Read the EMMA vision statement and guiding principles.

Meanwhile, we’re excited about the coming improvements to EMMA. During the next year, we will begin implementing changes that were informed by a year-long series of focus groups and input from a diverse range of market participants. These improvements include: 

  • Additional third-party data providers and other enhancements 
  • Improved presentation of information about 1 million individual securities
  • Enhancements to EMMA’s homepage navigation
  • Streamlined login for users with both MyEMMA and MSRB Gateway accounts
  • Transition to a searchable database of political contribution disclosures

Evolving EMMA Icon

Read more about the MSRB’s strategic objective to further evolve the EMMA website into a comprehensive transparency platform that meets the needs of municipal market participants and the public.


Municipal Bonds and Tax Reform

Tax Reform Muni Provisions Cover

The MSRB recently published an overview of the municipal securities provisions of the current federal tax reform proposals. The document, prepared for policymakers and the media who may be unfamiliar with the market, addresses the potential repeal of advance refunding bonds, taxation of private activity bonds and taxation of bonds issued to finance professional sports stadiums. Download Municipal Securities Provisions of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” for an objective resource on the proposed changes.

SRO Icon

Read more about the MSRB’s strategic objective to leverage the MSRB’s unique perspective and expertise as an independent self-regulatory organization.

Supporting Compliance: How Can the MSRB 
Improve its Approach?

As part of its long-term strategic goal, the MSRB is increasing its commitment to assisting regulated entities with understanding the rules of conduct and developing effective compliance procedures. Share your perspective about how the MSRB can most effectively facilitate compliance with its rules to protect investors and municipal entities, and promote market efficiency. Your feedback helps inform the MSRB’s efforts to prioritize, develop and deliver compliance support. The MSRB is seeking public comment on its overall approach to compliance support, including:

  • Stakeholder engagement;
  • Interpretive guidance, advisories, compliance resources and regulatory reminders;
  • Website and email communications; and
  • Coordination with examining authorities.

Request for Comment icon

Read the full request for comment and submit your feedback by the new deadline of Friday, February 8, 2018 (extended from December 22, 2017). The purpose of this request is to jumpstart a long-term dialogue with stakeholders on how the MSRB can most effectively facilitate compliance. We welcome preliminary input to help us begin to focus our efforts and we welcome continued comments from stakeholders throughout the year. 

Lucy Hooper: At-a-Glance

A regular feature on members of the MSRB Board of Directors

Lucy Hooper, Board Chair

Like many MSRB Board members, Lucy Hooper was first exposed to the work of the MSRB as a member of one of its advisory committees. Her eight-year tenure on the MSRB Professional Qualifications Committee, which develops and maintains competency exams for municipal securities professionals, piqued Hooper’s interest in how a self-regulatory organization developed standards for its industry members. 

“I was intrigued by the idea of a group of highly experienced and knowledgeable professionals creating the industry’s rules of the road to protect investors and the integrity of the market,” she says. “What I’ve learned is that self-regulation has a good deal of ‘self,’ but also plenty of checks and balances that ensure those rules have their intended effect. The MSRB provides the expertise and resources, but the Securities and Exchange Commission and even Congress have an important oversight role.” 

Hooper joined the Board in 2015 and this year was elected Chair. Her more than 35 years of experience in the municipal securities business—the majority at Davenport & Company, a regional broker-dealer in Richmond, VAinform her contributions as a board member. “From trading and sales order flow, to bond underwriting and retail sales, my experience helps ensure that the MSRB’s activities – whether they be regulatory or educationalconsider all the features and intricacies of our business,” she says.

As Chair, Hooper wants to ensure that the public at large never loses sight of the importance of the municipal securities market. “A thriving municipal market helps build and maintain this country’s infrastructure and supports the retirement savings of millions of Americans,” she says. “The role of the MSRB, with its ability to reflect and address the market’s complexities, is fundamental to the market’s longevity.”

New Board Member Application Window Coming Soon

The MSRB will begin accepting applications for its Board of Directors on January 8, 2018. The MSRB Board consists of 11 independent members representative of the public, including investors, municipal entities and other individuals that are not regulated by the MSRB. The Board also has 10 members that represent MSRB-regulated entities, including broker dealers, bank dealers and municipal advisors. In 2018, the MSRB is seeking applicants to fill two public and three regulated-entity positions. Read more about the Board of Directors.

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, in January.

Limited-Time Offer: Access the Full MuniEdPro® Catalog at a Special Introductory Rate


MuniEdPro Logo Blue Square NEW

Through December 31, 2017, dealer and municipal advisor firms can enhance their continuing education programs for municipal finance professionals by purchasing the full MuniEdPro® course catalog at the discounted rate of $100 per person. MuniEdPro’s interactive, online courses may be used to help fulfill the firm-element component of continuing education requirements for regulated entities depending on your firm’s annual written training plan. 

For more information about MuniEdPro® or to inquire about taking advantage of the introductory rate, contact Ritta McLaughlin at or 202-838-1306.

    Upcoming Events

    Compliance Workshop on MSRB Rule G-42: 

    Understanding Advice and Recommendations 

    December 8, 2017, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. ET


    Register to attend the first in a series of free virtual compliance workshops designed for municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors. Join MSRB staff for an in-depth discussion about key provisions of MSRB Rule G-42 on duties of non-solicitor municipal advisors related to advice and recommendations. This workshop will follow a question-and-answer format based on questions and suggestions from regulated entities and other stakeholders. To submit questions in advance of any workshop or to suggest topics for future workshops, email



    Compliance Support Icon

    Read more about the MSRB’s strategic objective to facilitate industry understanding of and compliance with MSRB rules through rule guidance, clarification and education in support of market efficiency.

    Coming in 2018: MSRB Town Hall Series

    In 2018, the MSRB will host a series of Town Hall meetings intended to support the municipal market community and provide a forum for capturing ideas to advise the MSRB’s activities. Market stakeholders will have the chance to communicate directly with MSRB Board members and staff about their expectations of the MSRB, and its current and future initiatives. The Town Halls will be open to all. Registration information and other details are forthcoming.

    MSRB Town Hall: February 21, 2018
    Hosted in coordination with the National Association of Bond Lawyers 16th Annual Tax & Securities Law Institute
    Phoenix, AZ

    MSRB Town Hall: February 22, 2018
    Hosted in coordination with the National Association of Municipal Advisors
    Newport Beach, CA

    MSRB Town Hall: May 17, 2018
    Hosted in coordination with the Municipal Bond Club of Chicago
    Chicago, IL


    Recent Press Releases

    Read the MSRB’s latest press releases on

    Rules and Guidance Roundup

    Visit the Rules and Guidance page of to stay up-to-date with the latest requests for comment, proposed rule changes, rule approval notices and market advisories.