WASHINGTON — Peg Henry, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s general counsel who has more than 30 years of experience in the municipal market, plans to leave the board June 1 to join Jefferies & Co. in New York.

Henry, who said she has missed living in New York City and working for a dealer firm, has been tapped to become Jefferies’ senior vice president and assistant general counsel beginning on June 18.

In her new post, she will provide legal advice to all of the firm’s municipal businesses, including underwriting, trading and sales, she said.

“Jefferies is a firm with a culture where people matter. It’s great to add such a strong and experienced professional as Peg Henry to the team in a time of such material regulatory change,” said Kenneth Gibbs, managing director and president of Jefferies municipal securities group.

“It will be a significant loss because she is … incredibly talented in understanding the relationship between dealer regulation, the needs of market stakeholders and the policy implications of our activities,” said MSRB executive director Lynnette Kelly. 

“She has a very special skill set,” Kelly said. She noted that Henry played a key role in virtually all of the MSRB’s activities during her tenure, particularly the rules the board needed to propose and get the Securities and Exchange Commission to approve to comply with mandates given the MSRB by the Dodd-Frank Act.

The board will soon begin a search to find someone to replace Henry, according to Kelly.

Several market participants said they will be sorry to see Henry leave the MSRB.

“Peg has been an enormous resource to the Government Finance Officers Association and the debt committee throughout her tenure at the MSRB, especially with the vast amount of rulemaking that the MSRB has undertaken with the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act,” said Susan Gaffney, director of GFOA’s federal liaison center.

“Her technical expertise as well as her understanding of the rulemaking process and implementation will be greatly missed.”

“Peg has been a phenomenal contributor to the improvement of the market,” said Robert Doty, senior vice president and general counsel of Government Financial Strategies Inc. “She has the persistence and intellectual capacity to evaluate issues in a reasonable and balanced manner. I genuinely feel saddened that she’s leaving but I wish her the best in her new position.”

“During the past four years of BDA growth, Peg Henry has been a receptive, engaging and effective regulator to the municipal bond market, while frequently speaking at BDA events and meeting in smaller settings with BDA member firms,” said Mike Nicholas, CEO of Bond Dealers of America. “Peg will be missed at the MSRB and the BDA certainly wishes her all the best in her future endeavors.”

“Peg has made a substantial and constructive contribution to the MSRB’s mission. We look forward to working with her in her new role at Jefferies,” SIFMA wrote in an email.

Henry joined the MSRB in December 2008. Before that, she was a director and senior attorney at UBS Securities LLC, representing the firm’s municipal securities group. Before UBS, she was a partner at Winston & Strawn in New York, where she was underwriter’s counsel to several large investment banks in muni transactions.

Henry worked in the SEC’s Office of Municipal Securities from 2001 through part of 2002. Before that, she was a partner and head of the public finance group at Torys LLP law firm in New York. She was special counsel to O’Melveny & Myers LLP and a partner at the now-defunct firm of Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon.

Henry was tax counsel to New York City’s Office of Management and Budget in 1995 and 1996, a managing director at Smith Barney Inc. from 1992 to 1994, and previously served as tax counsel to the House Ways and Means Committee. She also was a staff member with the Joint Tax Committee and was tax legislative counsel at the Treasury Department, where she focused on muni bond regulation.

Henry received a law degree from George Washington University in 1977 and an LLM in taxation in 1981. She received a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in 1974.

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