MSRB to hold first quarterly meeting of the year, with new CEO

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The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is expected to discuss its long-term strategic plan with a new at leader at its helm, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission's proposal on whether to change regulations for electronic trading platforms.

The MSRB announced its scheduled topics Wednesday ahead of its Oct. 21- 22 meeting. Like the rest of the MSRB’s meetings since March, this quarterly board meeting will be held virtually due to the pandemic.

The MSRB's quarterly board meeting next week will be the first led by its new CEO Mark Kim.

This will be its first board meeting of fiscal year 2021 and with its new CEO Mark Kim. Kim was announced as CEO at the end of September. The meeting will be a bit different as there are now 17 members down from 21 following significant changes to the MSRB’s governance rules. The SEC approved those changes in August, which included reducing the board size, but also increased the “cooling off” period for applicants to be considered as public members to five years from two years. Board members also now have a six-year term limit.

The board will discuss its approach for developing a long-term strategic plan for the MSRB. Its last strategic plan was in 2017 and included evolving its EMMA system and diversifying its funding resources.

“In this new fiscal year, the board plans to engage in a collaborative process with the newly appointed CEO, Mark Kim, and to provide an opportunity for external stakeholders to comment during the process,” the MSRB said.

The board will also consider what board advisory groups to establish or continue in FY 2021. In FY 2020, the board created three groups — the Compliance Advisory Group, the Municipal Securities Advisory Group and the Market Transparency Advisory Group.

MTAG is active in the MSRB’s initiatives to use its cloud technology, advising the board on efforts to modernize its systems as well as giving feedback on an advanced disclosure search and a market analysis dashboard during the last board meeting in July.

The board will discuss the SEC’s September concept release, in which the regulator asked for comments on whether the current regulatory structure for alternative trading systems needs to be changed in light of criticism that the current regime is inconsistent.

Next week, MSRB staff will give board members an update on an analysis of transaction costs for fixed-rate municipal securities before, during and after COVID-19.

“MSRB staff actively monitored the evolving situation in transaction costs for investors buying and selling municipal bonds during the crisis, when world-wide financial markets were in turmoil, as well as after markets returned to more normal levels,” the MSRB said.

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