• MSRB Proposes Professional Qualification Requirements for Municipal Advisors
  • May 2, 2014 | Author: J. Andrew Gipson
  • Law Firm: Jones Walker LLP - Jackson Office
  • The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board ("MSRB") has published proposed professional qualification rules that would apply to representatives of municipal advisors.

    A number of banks (or separately identifiable departments or divisions) providing municipal advice may be required to register as municipal advisors under registration rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, effective July 1, 2014.

    As proposed, the MSRB's qualification rules apply to any "municipal advisor representative," defined as an "...associated person who engages in municipal advisory activities on the firm's behalf, other than a person whose functions are purely clerical or ministerial." The proposal would require prospective municipal advisor representatives to take and pass a municipal advisor qualification examination prior to being qualified as a representative. There is a proposed one-year "grace period" for existing municipal advisor representatives to study and take (and if necessary retake) the examination. Regarding the proposed examination requirements, MSRB Executive Director Lynette Kelly stated: "Individuals entrusted with providing financial advice to state and local governments will be required to demonstrate both an understanding of the business and regulatory requirements."

    In connection with this notice, the MSRB also announced plans to separately implement qualification examinations for municipal advisor principals—those persons engaged in the management, direction, or supervision of the municipal advisory activities of the municipal advisor, as well as plans for continuing education applicable to municipal advisors.

    Comments on the proposed municipal advisor representative rules may be filed with the MSRB through May 16, 2014.