Why MSRB is making board changes

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WASHINGTON — Business development expert, former issuer official, and investment banker Rita Sallis has briefly rejoined the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s board of directors as a public representative following the resignation of former Atlanta chief financial officer Jim Beard.

Sallis, who previously served on the board from 2014 to 2017, will rejoin the board until its fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, the MSRB announced on Thursday. She will fill the slot left by the resignation of Beard who left his Atlanta post amid turmoil.

The board simultaneously announced that Ronald Dieckman, another public representative on the board, will serve an extended term until the end of the 2020 fiscal year.

Dieckman, who has retired in Holly Springs, N.C., was formerly at JJB Hilliard, WL Lyons LLC (now Hilliard Lyons) for 34 years, most recently as senior vice president and director of the public investment banking and municipal bond divisions.

The MSRB’s selection of board members is a confidential process, sources said. But the board will sometimes extend members in anticipation of needing to maintain a public member majority, as required by law, or because it wants to maintain more continuity when a new class of members joins.

Dieckman was among the board members serving a three-year term. He was selected prior to the MSRB’s switch to four-year terms, which began in its fiscal year 2017. His term started on Oct. 1, 2016 and will now run until Sept. 30, 2020.

“Rita has previously served on our Board and brings a diversity of experience from her wide-ranging career in the municipal securities market,” said MSRB chair Lucy Hooper. “We are delighted to have her rejoin the Board in a temporary capacity.”

Sallis is a senior advisor to Blueprint Capital Advisors, where she supports the firm’s executive leadership in the areas of investment and business development and provides guidance in governance-related matters, according to her MSRB biography. Previously, she was a principal at the Yucaipa Companies, where she was responsible for marketing, client servicing, investor relationship maintenance and deal sourcing. Prior to that, she was deputy comptroller and chief investment officer for New York City, as well as its deputy comptroller for public finance.

Sallis has a master’s degree in public health from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree from Central State University.

Beard resigned as Atlanta CFO in April as part of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' reevaluation of her cabinet, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. That same paper also reported that Beard was among a handful of city leaders who received rich and potentially illegal bonuses, as high as $15,000, from former Mayor Kasim Reed.

The MSRB declined to comment on Beard’s departure.

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