“Addressing corruption, or the appearance of corruption, in the awarding of municipal advisory business is a fundamental goal of the MSRB’s comprehensive regulatory framework for municipal advisors,” said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly. “Applying our well-established dealer pay-to-play rule to municipal advisors will help ensure that all regulated municipal market entities and professionals are held to the same high standards of integrity.”
The MSRB’s draft amendments seek to curb pay-to-play activities by municipal advisors and provide greater transparency regarding their political contributions. The draft amendments would, consistent with the existing rule for dealers, generally prohibit municipal advisors from engaging in municipal advisory business with municipal entities for two years if certain political contributions have been made to officials of those entities who can influence the award of business.
Municipal advisors would be required, like dealers under the existing rule, to disclose their political contributions to officials and bond ballot campaigns for posting on the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website. Public availability of this information would facilitate enforcement of the rule and promote public scrutiny of political giving and municipal advisory business.
For news and resources on municipal advisor rulemaking, outreach and education initiatives, visit the Resources for Municipal Advisors section of the MSRB’s website.
The MSRB protects investors, state and local governments and other municipal entities, and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB fulfills this mission by regulating the municipal securities firms, banks and municipal advisors that engage in municipal securities and advisory activities. To further protect market participants, the MSRB provides market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, the official repository for information on all municipal bonds. The MSRB also serves as an objective resource on the municipal market, conducts extensive education and outreach to market stakeholders, and provides market leadership on key issues. The MSRB is a Congressionally-chartered, self-regulatory organization governed by a 21-member board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is subject to oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission.