MSRB expands outreach schedule

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WASHINGTON - The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is expanding its stakeholder engagement efforts with multiple outreach events in the first quarter of the year.

The MSRB on Thursday announced a schedule of events around the country in which members of its board will participate in the first quarter, part of an increased focus on market outreach that the MSRB announced late last year. The events include outreach programs, conferences, town halls and roundtables.

“The Board is looking forward to additional opportunities to engage with municipal market participants this year,” said MSRB Chair Gary Hall. “These events will further enhance our perspective and understanding about issues and challenges in the market and ensure that any regulatory solutions are undertaken with a complete picture of their potential effects.”

The MSRB is focused on stakeholder outreach, regulatory compliance support, and a retrospective review of its existing rules following the fast and furious rulemaking that took place following the release of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s final Municipal Advisor Registration Rule in 2013. The MSRB had to build a new regulatory regime for muni advisors as required by passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, and is still finalizing that regime as it prepares to begin offering qualification exams for muni advisor prinipals this year.

The calendar announced Thursday includes eight events, one of which actually takes place beyond the first quarter. The first and most heavily MSRB-attended event on the slate is the Feb. 7 Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors, a joint venture of the MSRB, SEC, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. That event is set to take place in San Francisco.

The schedule includes the National Association of State Treasurers 2019 Legislative Conference Focus Group in Washington Feb. 11, the Midwest Compliance Roundtable in conjunction with the St. Louis Bond Club Feb. 21 in St. Louis, and the Government Finance Officers Association’s Debt Committee meeting in Los Angeles May 18.

MSRB staff will also be attending the events, including MSRB president and CEO Lynnette Kelly who is scheduled to be present at all eight events. MSRB staff often participate in industry roundtables and conference panels, and typically provide explanations of MSRB activities and answer questions about the MSRB’s rules and plans.

This year, the MSRB announced, the board is also taking the opportunity at several of its quarterly meetings to meet with groups representing dealers and municipal advisors as well as investors and municipalities.

“I am personally committed to being as available and accessible as possible to hear the concerns of industry stakeholders,” Hall said.

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