November 19, 2014

Muni ComMUNIcations - Legislative, regulatory and tax news for municipal securities


Happy Thanksgiving! Our next publication will be on Wednesday, December 3rd.


MSRB Proposes Professional Qualification Standards for Municipal Advisors
Today, the MSRB filed a proposed rule change with the SEC to create baseline standards of professional qualification for municipal advisors.

The proposed amendments to the MSRB’s existing Rule G-3 on professional qualifications establish two classifications of municipal advisor professionals, representative and principal, with firms required to designate at least one principal to oversee the municipal advisory activities of the firm. The proposed rule change also will require each municipal advisor representative and principal to take and pass a qualification test. The MSRB currently is developing the content outline for the test and plans to administer a pilot exam in 2015.  

SEC Filing | Rule Text | SIFMA Comment Letter

MSRB and FINRA Release Proposals to Provide Pricing Reference Information for Investors in Fixed Income Markets
On November 17, the MSRB and FINRA released proposals that would require disclosure of pricing reference information on customer confirmations for transactions in fixed income securities. The proposals are substantially similar but seek input on factors unique to the corporate and municipal bond markets.

Under the two proposals, bond dealers in retail-sized fixed income transactions would be required to disclose on the customer’s confirmation the price of certain same-day principal trades in the same security, as well as the difference between this reference price and the customer’s price.

FINRA and the MSRB are seeking input on the likely economic implications of the proposals as well as on alternative regulatory approaches, including a potential markup disclosure requirement targeting trades that could be considered riskless principal transactions.

Comments should be submitted to FINRA and the MSRB no later than January 20, 2015.

MSRB’s Request for Comment | FINRA’s Request for Comment

Bentsen Op-Ed: Finding a Better Approach to Global Regulatory Coordination
In his role as SIFMA affiliate, GFMA CEO, Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. wrote an Op-Ed published in The Banker. Bentsen, in advance of the G20 Summit in Brisbane Australia, emphasized the importance of the G20 redoubling their focus on regulatory coordination to avoid fragmentation of markets, protectionism and regulatory arbitrage that could stifle economic growth at their.
The Banker Op-Ed



SIFMA Launches Web-Based Initiative – “Project Invested”
SIFMA is pleased to announce the launch of a new web-based initiative, “Project Invested,” that will offer valuable perspective on the role of capital markets in our nation’s economy. Project Invested focuses on local stories and provides a forum to explore and discuss key concepts that underlie the market economy. This initiative will spark a conversation about the importance of capital markets in both private and public enterprises. We believe that’s a story worth telling.

Looking for a Volunteer Activity – Sign up to Invest It Forward
Invest it Forward™ connects teachers and classrooms with financial industry professionals and firms to give young Americans a solid understanding of the capital markets system and the invaluable tools to achieve their dreams. Register online, select a local school and The SIFMA Foundation provides you with a tailor-made presentation based on the subject your teacher requests.  Do it alone or as part of a team. Register directly or contact Michelle Noguchi at / 212.313.1224 for further detail.

Pandemic Influenza Continuity Exercise Series: Multiple Dates, Sep. – Dec., 2014
SIFMA is coordinating with government and private organizations to sponsor a two year series of pandemic influenza continuity exercises to mitigate vulnerabilities during a pandemic influenza outbreak; identify gaps or weaknesses in pandemic planning or in organization pandemic influenza continuity plans, policies, & procedures; and encourage public and private organizations to jointly plan for, and test, their pandemic influenza plans.
FEMA Pandemic Exercise

Sources - The Securities and Financial Markets Guide to Products and Services
Compiled by SIFMA, Sources is an easy-to-use buyer's guide of products and services for the securities and financial industry. SIFMA brings together the shared interests of hundreds of securities firms, banks and asset managers. Sources represents a collection of suppliers ready to meet your business needs.
Learn more about the 2015 edition.

SIFMA Newsletters: Regular updates on an array of financial industry topics
SIFMA's topic-focused newsletters will provide you with timely and informative summaries of key developments to keep you informed of the changing environment of the financial services industry landscape. Choose from a broad range of industry topics including: municipal securities, securitization, rates, retirement and savings, derivatives as well as major regulatory and legislative actions on Capitol Hill and across the globe that affect the financial services sector, and more.
Sign Up




Mark your Calendar: SIFMA’s FINRA Disciplinary Hearings Forum – Feb. 12, 2015, NYC
Join FINRA’s Chief Hearing Officer, Head of Litigation, and other senior FINRA officers, as well as seasoned practitioners from the defense bar, for a deep dive into the inner workings of a FINRA disciplinary hearing. SIFMA's FINRA Disciplinary Hearings Forum is a half-day interactive program that will provide valuable insights both for lawyers experienced in FINRA proceedings and those new to the forum. Topics to be covered include: Relevant procedural rules, the complaint and pre-hearing process, discovery through hearing and the decision, and more. Attendees at this event will be eligible for CLE credits.
Register Today



SIFMA Bookstore Spotlight: The Fundamentals of Municipal Bonds
This informative volume is the newly revised and updated sixth edition of the long-heralded classic text on the municipal securities market. The text provides a basic understanding of the market for a wide range of readers, including experienced professionals – such as investment bankers, traders, brokers, and professional investors – as well as public officials, academicians, students, and sophisticated individuals.
Read More and Purchase Book


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