SEC lawyer who played key role in municipal securities disclosure retires

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PHOENIX - Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer Catherine McGuire, who worked on many rules key to the municipal market, is retiring after 44 years at the SEC.

McGuire, counsel in the Trading and Market Division, worked on muni issues in addition to many others throughout her long career. She began her SEC career in 1973 in what was then the Division of Market Regulation and was promoted to positions of increasing responsibility, including serving as counsel to Commissioner Bevis Longstreth from 1982 to 1983. She was named chief counsel and associate director of the division in 1993 and has advised it as counsel since 2008.

John McNally, a partner at Hawkins Delafield & Wood in Washington who worked under McGuire at the SEC early in his career, said that she was “key to the implementation of the current municipal market regulatory structure.”

McGuire was branch chief of the Office of Municipal Securities in the Division of Market Regulation in 1975 when the SEC first began regulating municipal securities brokers and dealers pursuant to the Securities Acts Amendments of 1975, McNally explained. He said that she was the principal attorney responsible for the SEC’s Rule 15c2-12, including both its initial implementation in 1989 for primary disclosure and its amendment in 1995 to include continuing disclosure.

“The guidance provided in the 1989 release under the heading “Interpretation of Underwriter Responsibilities” continues to be the principal source of guidance to the market on such topic,” McNally said.

Paul Maco, a partner at Bracewell in Washington and previously director of the SEC’s muni office after it became a stand-alone office that reported directly to the SEC chairman, called McGuire “a singular force in the development of regulation of the municipal market.”

“Much of what we see in the municipal market, the regulation, is a product of Caite’s efforts and intellect,” Maco said.

Heather Seidel, Division of Trading and Markets acting director, also praised McGuire.

“Catherine McGuire has been an outstanding advocate for investors and a guardian of safe and efficient markets throughout her career at the commission,” said Seidel. “She has been dedicated to the commission’s mission to protect investors, maintain fair and orderly markets, and facilitate capital formation, and her continuing legacy is a talented and committed division staff, many of whom she mentored, supported, and advised.”

McGuire has received more than a dozen awards in her career, including the Distinguished Service Award, the SEC’s highest award, in 1992, and the Presidential Meritorious Executive Award, in 2000.

“I am grateful to have spent my legal career at the commission,” McGuire said. “I am extremely proud of the work by the Division of Trading and Markets and the dedication of its staff. Their commitment to the agency’s mission is inspiring and represents the best of government service. It has been a privilege to work with them on behalf of investors.”

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