WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today announced the opening of registration for the Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors.
There is no cost to attend the program, which provides an open forum for municipal advisory industry professionals to discuss regulatory and compliance issues with regulators. The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco on February 7, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST. Additional information, including the agenda, is available on the SEC, MSRB, and FINRA websites.
The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) and Office of Municipal Securities are partnering with the MSRB and FINRA to sponsor the program. Topics of discussion include the duties and standards of conduct for solicitor and non-solicitor municipal advisors under MSRB Rule G-42 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and municipal advisor compliance with new MSRB rules. The program will include a discussion of municipal advisor and underwriter roles in a public offering of municipal securities and in the investment of bond proceeds, and SEC and FINRA staff will discuss examination processes, common exam observations, and relevant enforcement actions.
“This program, now in its fourth year, highlights our continued commitment to promote compliance with municipal advisor regulations by providing the industry the opportunity to engage first-hand with all three regulators regarding regulatory obligations,” said Rebecca Olsen, Director of the SEC’s Office of Municipal Securities.
Pete Driscoll, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations added, “The Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors is one of the touchstones of OCIE’s efforts to be transparent and promote compliance by municipal advisors. I am happy to see that this forum provides municipal advisors an opportunity to stay abreast of developments in the regulatory regime, including a number of new rules, to better understand the examination process, and to hear some of the common compliance observations the SEC staff is identifying in its examinations.”
Mike Rufino, FINRA’s Head of Member Regulation-Sales Practice, said, “Any firm that wants to enhance its understanding of which activities fall within the definition of municipal advisory activity and how to apply the registration exemptions and exclusions will benefit from participating in the outreach program.”
MSRB President and CEO Lynnette Kelly said, “We are pleased to join forces with the SEC and FINRA to host a program that will help municipal advisors and other financial professionals gain a clearer understanding of MSRB rules for municipal advisors. Supporting compliance with our rules is one of the MSRB’s top priorities.”
Registration is being administered by FINRA and is open to all municipal advisor and securities industry professionals. In-person attendance is limited to a first-come, first-served basis. For those who cannot attend in person, the program will be available live via audio webcast on the SEC’s website.
Register to attend the program here. Information about the program and links to program materials will be posted on the SEC, MSRB, and the FINRA websites.