Ritta McLaughlin leaving the MSRB

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Another senior officer is leaving the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, the fifth such departure in the past several weeks.

Multiple sources said Chief Education Officer Ritta McLaughlin will be the latest to leave the MSRB.

Her last day will be near the end of this month, sources said. The MSRB declined to comment.

McLaughlin will be the fifth senior official to leave the MSRB in recent weeks, following President and CEO Lynnette Kelly, Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Galloway, Chief Regulatory Officer Lanny Schwartz and General Counsel Michael Post.

McLaughlin has been with the MSRB since 2011, first as a senior director of market leadership. As chief education officer, McLaughlin oversees the education and outreach activities of the MSRB.

During her time at the MSRB, McLaughlin developed and oversaw MuniEdPro, a suite of over 20 interactive, online courses about municipal market activities and regulations. In April, the MSRB made MuniEdPro free for all market participants. Earlier this year, the platform earned a Brandon Hall Group award for excellence in the category for best advance in learning management technology for compliance training.

In a personal email sent by McLaughlin to stakeholders which was obtained by The Bond Buyer, McLaughlin said she was proud of her accomplishments and felt she came to the MSRB eight years ago "at the right time to serve our industry’s self-regulatory organization."

"I am leaving knowing that I not only had an impact on the organization, but also on our market," she wrote.

Before joining the MSRB, McLaughlin was an associate treasurer for the District of Columbia, handing their multi-billion dollar debt management program. She was also an executive director at J.P. Morgan and an associate director at Bear Stearns.

McLaughlin’s departure follows the announcement of a new initiative from MSRB Chair Edward Sisk, who assumed leadership of the board Oct. 1. Sisk plans to create a governance committee to review the board’s composition and selection process while searching for a new CEO.

There has been some indication that the SEC may work more closely with the MSRB, and SEC Chair Jay Clayton has taken notice of the MSRB’s new governance initiatives.

“I am pleased that the MSRB’s FY 2020 organization priorities include examining its governance practices, including through the formation of a special committee on governance,” Clayton said in a statement. “Governance, accountability and transparency are important and related issues. I look forward to working with the MSRB on this initiative and discussing the special committee’s recommendations.”

Sources have said the SEC has had more contact with the MSRB recently than in years past. They said over the past several years the SEC has had more direct contact with the MSRB than ever before. Twice in the past nine months, SEC Chair Jay Clayton has directed the SEC’s Office of Municipal Securities to work with the MSRB in addressing concerns Clayton had about disclosure.

MSRB said its focus on education and outreach will continue under the leadership of the board’s new Stakeholder Engagement Committee, and that Communications Director Leah Szarek will be assisting with McLaughlin's responsibilities at the staff level on an interim basis.

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