MSRB Monthly Update: March 2018

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March Monthly Update Header

Celebrating 10 Years of EMMA®

MSRB President and Executive Director Lynnette Kelly

The MSRB remains committed to evolving the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website into a comprehensive transparency platform for the municipal market. We established the EMMA website in 2008 to provide retail investors with centralized, online and free access to real-time municipal securities transaction prices and disclosure documents. As we approach EMMA’s 10-year anniversary, we have prioritized facilitating easier and more efficient access to municipal market information as we further advance the website to support the decision-making needs of market participants and the public. In late April, you will see noticeable improvements to EMMA’s homepage navigation and a more intuitive presentation of information about individual securities. All of the changes were informed by extensive input from focus groups and other EMMA users.

These improvements complement the MSRB’s ongoing effort to build on EMMA’s foundation and improve access to tools and information that help municipal market participants analyze trends and improve understanding of the market. Last fall, we adopted a renewed vision for EMMA that reflects its broad market utility and the growing information needs of all market stakeholders and developed a set of guiding principles for EMMA to inform priorities for future enhancements. Read the EMMA vision statement and guiding principles. The next steps in EMMA’s development include a searchable database of political contribution disclosures, and an improved submission process for data and other disclosures.


Subscribe to the MSRB’s EMMA Updates email list to get the latest news on changes to EMMA delivered right to your inbox.

EMMA 10-Year Logo

Engaging Municipal Market Stakeholders

Town Hall Graphic

As the self-regulatory organization for the municipal market, the MSRB applies practical industry expertise as part of its mission to promote a fair, transparent and efficient municipal securities market. To that end, the MSRB hosted two town hall meetings in February—in coordination with the National Association of Bond Attorney’s Tax and Securities Law Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, and the quarterly board meeting of the National Association of Municipal Advisors, in Newport Beach, California—to obtain feedback from the municipal market community. MSRB Board of Directors members and staff engaged in conversations with market participants on ways to improve the MSRB’s approach to rulemaking, market transparency and education and outreach activities, and potential areas of concern that could pose harm to the municipal market. 


Recommendations included:

  • Developing additional advisory committees and topic-specific focus groups to broaden market participants’ engagement; 
  • Enhancing market participants’ understanding of and compliance with MSRB rules by developing scenario-based considerations in MSRB compliance content; and
  • Clarifying mechanisms for addressing and obtaining interpretive guidance, among other suggestions.

The MSRB is committed to continuing its expanded outreach to market stakeholders to help ensure that the municipal market remains fair and efficient and a viable source of capital for municipal entities. The MSRB is hosting its next Town Hall meeting on Thursday, May 17, 2018 in Chicago, IL in coordination with the Municipal Bond Club of Chicago. Register to attend.

Richard Froehlich: At-a-Glance

A regular feature on members of the MSRB Board of Directors

MSRB Board Member Richard Froehlich

Oversight of the municipal securities market is achieved primarily through regulation of the financial professionals that support the transactions. And yet, says MSRB Board member Richard Froehlich, it is the municipal issuer that is at the heart of the public finance business. “Municipal bonds, on some level, are all about the issuer—whether it is a general obligation bond and its ability to tax or a revenue bond where it is making decisions about different projectsthe issuer is undertaking the endeavor and is the face of the industry and the face of the product itself.”

Froehlich, who is Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for the New York City Housing Development Corporation, which has approximately $11 billion in bonds outstanding and typically issues between $1-2 billion annually, says the issuer’s central role in every transaction means its perspective is essential to the process of regulation. “It’s the issuers that bring together and hire the regulated entities, and therefore provide critical insight into helping ensure the transactions are fair and efficient.” The MSRB’s self-regulatory model ensures the views of issuers are part of the rulemaking process. City and state issuers are represented on the Board, in addition to regulated entities, investors and other public members.

Froehlich says a key aspect of the MSRB’s market oversight is its responsibility to protect municipal entities. In addition to establishing regulations for municipal advisors, the MSRB protects municipal entities by engaging and educating issuers to understand more about the underlying business and its regulation. He says the MSRB’s outreach, the development of tools for issuers on the EMMA website and the MSRB’s online learning platform, MuniEdPro®, have established it as an important resource for all market participants. “This will be a continuing legacy for the organization,” he says.


Webinar Video

Watch a video to hear more from Froehlich and other bond issuers on how they use the EMMA website.

New Course on MSRB Rule G-37 Coming to MuniEdPro®

MuniEdPro® is the MSRB’s suite of interactive, online courses designed specifically for municipal market participants. Next week, the MSRB will release a new course on MSRB Rule G-37, on political contributions and related prohibitions on municipal securities business and municipal advisory business. The course will cover the fundamental aspects of the rule and allow the learner to understand the application of the rules to real-world examples.

For more information about MuniEdPro®, contact Ritta McLaughlin at or 202-838-1306. 

Upcoming Events

Compliance Workshop on MSRB Rule G-42:

Documenting Your Relationships and Making Disclosures

March 9, 2018 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. ET

Register to attend the second in a series of virtual compliance workshops designed for regulated entities. 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 relationship documentation and making disclosures. 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 the workshop or to suggest topics for future workshops, email

Webinar: Understanding the MSRB’s Role in 529 Plans/ABLE Programs

March 29, 2018 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

During this free webinar, staff from the MSRB and the American Association on Intellectual and Development Disabilities will speak about 529 savings plans and ABLE programs, including the MSRB's regulatory role and how certain MSRB rules protect investors.



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.

Compliance Resources

Visit the online Compliance Center for resources and information to help regulated entities understand and comply with MSRB rules.