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Dougherty’s Polsky, Former NFMA Chair, to Head MSRB

AUG 15, 2011 11:22am ET
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WASHINGTON — Alan D. Polsky, senior vice president of Minneapolis-based Dougherty & Co. LLC and former chair of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts, will be the next chairman of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board beginning Oct. 1, according to market sources.

The MSRB is expected to soon announce the election of Polsky to the top post, as well as the new vice chairman and other new members that were elected earlier this summer to serve on the board.

Polsky, who is responsible for Dougherty’s negotiated municipal underwriting and fixed income institutional sales and research, will replace Michael Bartolotta, a vice chairman at First Southwest Co. Polsky joined the MSRB on Oct. 1, 2009 for a three-year term, serving as a representative of a broker-dealer firm.

He will head the MSRB at a time when the board and Securities and Exchange Commission are focused on improving secondary market disclosure in the muni market.

Polsky spent a great deal of time trying to improve secondary market disclosure when he chaired the NFMA in 2001. During that year, the NFMA issued several “best practice” disclosure documents recommending how issuers, borrowers, and other market participants could improve disclosure in various sectors of the market. Polsky also was a member of the Muni Council, a group of about 20 muni market group representatives dedicated to improving secondary market disclosure. The group was responsible for the creation of the Central Post Office facility which temporarily served as a one-stop place for issuers to file their disclosure documents.

During his more than 26 years at Dougherty, Polsky also served as director of research for the tax-exempt sector and was a tax-exempt bond trader.

Before joining the firm, he was controller for the University of Minnesota Foundation and an audit manager for Peat, Marwick & Mitchell. Polsky received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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A recent phenomenon is the emergence of bonds with shorter call protection as funding alternatives for municipalities. However, the shorter call protection also dampens the potential upside for investors, which in turn reduces the price they are willing to pay.

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