SEC Adopts Amendments to Rule 15c2-12 to Improve Municipal Securities Disclosure

In August 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced that it has adopted amendments to Rule 15c2-12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), in an effort to enhance transparency in the municipal securities market. The SEC has stated that the commission believes the amendments will provide[…]

Learn more about the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) Website

Millions of investors participate in municipal bond ownership. It pays to do your homework. Learning more about the features and risks of an investment is important for all investors. Investors who own municipal bonds or who are considering adding them to their portfolios have access to a free online library of information. The Electronic Municipal Market Access website (“EMMA”) is the official repository for information for municipal bonds, and can help you learn about, evaluate and monitor over 1.2 million outstanding municipal bonds.  Read More…

MSRB Reminds Municipal Advisors of September Deadline to complete Series 50 Exam

As summarized below, the MSRB recently issued a reminder to remind member firms that engage in municipal advisory activities of the obligation to ensure that every Associated Person with your firm that engages in municipal advisory activities is appropriately qualified. Specifically, Associated Persons who engage in municipal advisory activities on behalf of a municipal advisor firm is required to be qualified as a “municipal advisor representative” by passing the Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination (Series 50 exam). Read More…

T+2 Settlement Cycle for Transactions in Municipal Securities

As summarized below, the MSRB recently announced the effective date of amendments to MSRB Rules G-12, on uniform practice, and G-15, on confirmation, clearance, settlement and other uniform practice requirements with respect to transactions with customers, to define regular-way settlement for municipal securities transactions as occurring on a two-day settlement cycle (T+2). The SEC approved the MSRB’s proposal to make these rule amendments and other technical amendments in April 2016 and the effective date will be September 5, 2017. Read More…

MSRB requests comment on draft amendments to MSRB Rule G-26 on Customer Account Transfers

The MSRB is requesting comment on draft amendments to MSRB Rule G-26 related to customer account transfers. The draft amendments are primarily designed to modernize the rule and promote a uniform customer account transfer standard for all broker-dealers. Rule G-26 requires broker-dealers to cooperate in the transfer of customer accounts and specifies procedures for carrying[…]

MSRB Revises Content Outline for Series 50 Exam

In June 2016, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) filed a proposed rule change with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to revise the content outline for the Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination (Series 50 exam). The content outline for the Series 50 exam has been amended to reflect changes to the laws, rules and regulations covered by the examination. These amendments also, among other things, incorporate the functions and associated tasks performed by a municipal advisor representative.

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MSRB Rule G-18: Best Execution

MSRB Rule G-18, the new best-execution rule for municipal securities, became effective March 21, 2016. At this point, most broker-dealers registered with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) have implemented written policies and procedures for seeking best execution on customer orders in municipal securities. Now, if you are a compliance officer or municipal securities principal at one of these broker-dealers, you may still be pondering precisely how your firm is going to perform and document the required periodic reviews of its best-execution policies and procedures. Many introducing broker-dealers hope to avail themselves of a provision in Rule G-18 that seemingly permits them to rely on the best-execution reviews of their clearing firms. In this blog post, we identify the conditions for obtaining this relief and discuss some of the challenges of relying on another broker-dealer’s best-execution reviews.

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