Ed Sisk to stay on as MSRB chair

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Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board chair Ed Sisk will stay on for another year in a time of transition for the board.

The MSRB announced the news Thursday afternoon following the Securities and Exchange Commission's approval of signficant changes to the board Wednesday night, including reducing the MSRB’s board size to 15 members from 21.

“We are fortunate to have Ed’s experienced leadership at the helm of the board especially at this time of unprecedented strain on market participants stemming from the pandemic and during the integration of a new CEO into the MSRB team,” said Bob Brown, MSRB board member and chair of the board’s governance review special committee.

The MSRB has been without a permanent CEO after its former CEO and President Lynnette Kelly left late last year after 12 years in that position. The MSRB’s search committee is still working to find a new CEO and does not have a set timeline.

The board elected current MSRB Chair Ed Sisk to stay in his role in FY 2021.

The MSRB also announced Thursday that one of its board members, Julia Cooper, will serve as vice-chair in fiscal year 2021. Both Sisk and Cooper have been on the board since 2017.

Sisk, a managing director and head of public finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has been MSRB chair since Oct. 1, 2019. During his time at the MSRB, Sisk has created a governance committee to review the board’s composition, is in the process of conducting a CEO search and created a new stakeholder engagement committee.

During his time as chair, Sisk has continued the MSRB’s efforts to migrate data storage to the cloud and add new tools to its EMMA site such as adding a submission calculator that more visibly tracks the timeliness of secondary market disclosures.

Sisk is a native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and a law degree from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. Before joining Merrill Lynch, he joined Mudge Rose Guthrie and Ferdon in 1988 in its municipal bond department.

At Merrill Lynch, Sisk leads a team of investment bankers, covering municipal issuers.

Cooper, director of finance for San Jose, California will be vice-chair starting Oct. 1.

“As we demonstrated when we amended our original transition plan, the board believes this is a critical time to have effective issuer representation on the board,” Brown said. “With Julia and our FY 2020 vice chair Manju Ganeriwala both continuing on the board in FY 2021, the MSRB will have the benefit of local and state issuer representation next year.”

Ganeriwala’s term ends on Sept. 30, 2021. She was vice chair this fiscal year, with that term ending on Sept. 30, 2020. She is the treasurer for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In the changes approved by the SEC Wednesday, the MSRB committed to maintaining two issuers during the transition period of when the MSRB shrinks its board to 17 members next year before going to 15 in fiscal year 2022.

Cooper has worked for San Jose for 29 years and has been responsible for the city’s municipal debt issuance and management since 1990. Cooper holds a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara Univerity and a master’s degree from San Jose University.

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