MSRB looks for new board members for 2022

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The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is looking for issuers and non-dealer municipal advisors to join its downsized board in fiscal year 2022.

The MSRB made that announcement Thursday morning, looking for candidates to fill four-year terms beginning Oct. 1, 2021.

“Our goal is to create a board that is diverse, inclusive and reflective of the wide variety of perspectives that contribute to the field of public finance, said Caroline Cruise, chair of the MSRB’s nominating committee. “To help encourage individuals to apply, we are soliciting applications earlier and keeping the application window open for longer than in prior years.”

To encourage more people to apply for the MSRB board, the MSRB is soliciting applications earlier, said Caroline Cruise, chair of the MSRB’s nominating committee.

The application process usually starts in early January, with a window of about 30 days to apply. The application form for FY2022 will be available on the MSRB’s site on Dec. 1, and applications can be submitted through Feb. 5, 2021.

The FY2022 board will decrease to 15 members from its current 17 because of recent governance rule changes approved during the summer.

The MSRB board is divided into two categories: public representatives and representiatives of professionals regulated by the MSRB. Currently, within the public representative category, at least one board member must be representative of institutional or retail investors, at least one must represent issuers and at least one has to be a member of the public. The board must be majority public, meaning dealers and muni advisors can't outnumber members not regulated by the MSRB.

“With respect to the two public member positions, the MSRB is particularly interested in individuals employed by state and local issuers,” the MSRB wrote. “With respect to the two regulated member positions, the MSRB is required to select at least one municipal advisor who is not affiliated with a broker-dealer or bank dealer firm.”

Seven board members will be leaving the MSRB at the end of its fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2021, including current MSRB Chair Ed Sisk, Vice Chair Julia Cooper and Chair of the MSRB’s Special Search Committee Bill Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald led the process in selecting the MSRB’s current CEO, Mark Kim.

One public representative who would have otherwise ended their term at the end of FY 2021 will have a one-year extension.

In July, the SEC approved rules to shrink the MSRB’s board to its pre-Dodd Frank size of 15 from 21 board members. Applicants that want to be considered as public members on the board also have an increased “cooling off” period upped to five years from two.

Following the rule changes, board members have a six year-term limit as well.

Both the cooling off period and shrinking board changes were in line with the MSRB Reform Act of 2019 that Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., introduced over a year ago. Sources have said the MSRB’s motivation for those governance changes may have been to forestall Kennedy’s bill, which would give the SEC control of board membership rather than letting the MSRB select its own members.

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