MSRB Municipal Advisor Review - Fall 2014

Fall 2014

Upcoming Events

The MSRB will host a free educational webinar on its request for comment on extending its dealer pay-to-play rule to municipal advisors on Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Register for the webinar.

The MSRB will continue to host webinars on its requests for comment on draft rules for municipal advisors. Learn more about upcoming webinars and eventsView presentations from past webinars.

Did You Know?

The MSRB provides frequent news and updates on Twitter. Follow @MSRB_News today.

MSRB Rules for Municipal Advisors Continue to Take Shape

Since the release of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) final registration rule for municipal advisors in September 2013, the MSRB has continued to develop its regulatory framework for municipal advisors. Several key rule proposals are advancing through the rulemaking process. As these regulatory initiatives move from draft to final form, the MSRB will engage municipal advisors and other stakeholders to facilitate an understanding of the regulations and continue to provide information on their status. The information below is current as of September 5, 2014.

Status of Municipal Advisor Rulemaking

Rule: Professional Fee for Municipal Advisors (MSRB Rule A-11)
Status: In effect
Next Steps: Learn more about complying with the rule.

Rule: Supervision and Compliance Obligations (Draft MSRB Rule G-44)
Status: Filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval in July 2014 (MSRB Filing 2014-06)
Next Steps: The SEC will indicate approval of the rule or other action by September 19, 2014

Rule: Professional Qualification Requirements (Draft Amended MSRB Rule G-3)
Status: To be filed with the SEC for approval
Next Steps: The SEC will announce a public comment period in the Federal Register.

Rule: Standards of Conduct for Municipal Advisors (Draft MSRB Rule G-42)
Status: Revised draft rule published for comment in July 2014 (MSRB Notice 2014-12)
Next Steps: The MSRB is reviewing comments received on the revised draft rule.

Rule: Pay-to-Play (Draft Amended MSRB Rule G-37)
Status: Draft rule amendments published in August 2014 (MSRB Notice 2014-15)
Next Steps: Submit comments on the proposal through October 1, 2014.

Rule: Gifts and Gratuities (Draft Amended MSRB Rule G-20)
Status: Draft rule amendments approved in July for public comment (Board Meeting Summary)
Next Steps: The MSRB plans to publish a request for comment soon.

Rule: Duties of Solicitors
Status: Identified as next rulemaking priority
Next Steps: The MSRB will develop a draft proposal for Board consideration.

For up-to-date information on municipal advisor rulemaking, visit the Resources for Municipal Advisors section of the MSRB’s website.

View existing rules for municipal advisors on the MSRB website.

MSRB Seeks to Address the Potential for Pay-to-Play Activities in Municipal Advisory Business

Addressing corruption or the appearance of corruption, in the awarding of municipal advisory business is a fundamental goal of the MSRB’s developing comprehensive regulatory framework for municipal advisors. In August 2014, the MSRB published draft amendments to Rule G-37, the MSRB’s pay-to-play rule for municipal securities dealers, which would extend the rule to municipal advisors. The MSRB’s draft amendments seek to curb pay-to-play activities by municipal advisors and provide greater transparency regarding their political contributions. By applying well-established dealer pay-to-play prohibitions to municipal advisors, the MSRB aims to ensure that all regulated municipal market entities and professionals are held to the same high standards of integrity.

Comments on the MSRB’s draft rule are due no later than October 1, 2014. The MSRB will host a webinar on the proposed changes on September 11, 2014 at 3 p.m. ET. Register for the webinar.

Survey Informs Development of Professional Qualifications Test for Municipal Advisors

In June, the MSRB surveyed registered municipal advisors about their business activities to inform the MSRB's development of a professional qualification exam for advisors. More than 550 municipal advisors responded to the survey. The MSRB has completed an analysis of the survey responses and is using the information to develop a draft content outline for its planned professional qualifications exam. The MSRB intends to finalize the content outline in 2015, with the goal of administering a pilot exam to municipal advisors also in 2015. Learn more about municipal advisor professional qualifications

Resources for Municipal Advisors: MSRB Education Center

Education Center

Municipal advisors can point their issuer clients to a new resource on the MSRB’s website for free, objective multimedia education about the municipal securities market. The MSRB recently unveiled an Education Center on its website, at, that houses an extensive collection of educational videos, fact sheets and other digital resources about the municipal securities market and the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website. Organized by topic and target audience, the MSRB Education Center makes it easier for municipal advisors, personnel at state and local governments and others interested in the municipal market to find useful information. Resources for issuers address topics such as the issuance process, using EMMA to monitor outstanding securities and disclosing information to investors. Explore the MSRB Education Center today.