Ernesto Lanza, the general counsel of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, has been tapped to serve as deputy executive director, the MSRB announced Monday. Meanwhile, a former investment banker has been chosen for a newly created market leadership role.
Lanza, the board’s general counsel since 2008, joined the self-regulator in 1997 as an assistant general counsel.
In his new role, he will oversee several municipal market projects, including potential initiatives related to issuer and investor protection as well as increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the muni capital markets.
Lanza, who will continue as general counsel, replaces Hal Johnson, who left the MSRB earlier this year after almost three decades, including 18 years as deputy general counsel.
During his tenure at the MSRB, Lanza — a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School — helped develop and launch the board’s online EMMA system.
Ritta McLaughlin, former investment banker and associate treasurer for the District of Columbia, will become the director of market leadership at the MSRB. She will focus on “market-related issues that promote a fair and efficient municipal market,” the board said in a press release.
In an interview, executive director Lynnette Hotchkiss said McLaughlin will help address questions about muni-market disclosure and market practices and help keep the organization up to date on new products and new developments.
“The talents of these two highly experienced individuals will help guide the MSRB in fundamental areas,” Hotchkiss said in a statement. Ernie’s deep technical knowledge and broad understanding of the market, and Ritta’s market experience and extensive relationships, will provide strategic leadership to stay on top of market trends, anticipate future needs and identify where the MSRB can have a positive impact.”
McLaughlin has worked at JPMorgan, Bear Stearns, and Fitch Ratings, according to the MSRB.
She has a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and a master’s in urban policy and management from the New School for Social Research.
A bond attorney who has worked with McLaughlin on several deals called her an excellent choice.
“Her experience as both a municipal investment banker and an issuer (associate treasurer for the District of Columbia) will allow her to bring both perspectives to this new position,” said John McNally, a partner at Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP in Washington and the current president of the National Association of Bond Lawyers.
In other matters, the MSRB announced that last week the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the board’s proposed amendments to the Short-Term Obligation Rate Transparency subscription service.
Known as SHORT, the service collects and disseminates information about securities bearing short-term interest rates, including auction-rate securities and variable-rate demand obligations.
The amendments, which provide subscribers with additional information and documents — including those that define auction procedures and interest-rate-setting mechanisms for ARS — will go into effect on May 16.