In the first of several rules that the SEC is required to adopt under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Reform Act), the SEC on September 2, 2010 adopted a temporary rule to require municipal advisers to be registered by October 1, 2010. A permanent rule is expected to be adopted at a later date.
The Reform Act requires the registration of municipal advisers by October 1 and includes financial advisers, guaranteed investment contract brokers, third-party marketers, placement agents, and other entities and individuals that provide municipal advisory services. Such advisers provide advice to state and local governments and other borrowers in connection with the issuance of municipal securities.
The Reform Act also requires municipal advisers to register with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB).
The SEC registration process for municipal advisers is conducted on the SEC's Web site, which includes the new registration form (Form MA-T). Information included on the registration form, as submitted by the municipal advisers, will be made available to the public on the SEC's Web site.
The Reform Act's requirement of registration and requirement to keep certain records is designed, in part, to create greater transparency for both the municipal securities issuers and the public to determine who these municipal advisers are, their background, and any disciplinary history. As a result, according to SEC Chairman Mary Shapiro, “regulators, investors and state and local governments will have a better understanding of those who provide services in the municipal market.”