Last Thursday, November 12, the MSRB published its Compliance Advisory for Municipal Advisors (“MA’s”). The new MA regulatory regime was imposed by Dodd-Frank and implemented by the MSRB and SEC over the past several years. The Advisory highlights some of fundamental regulatory requirements for MA’s and identifies some potential compliance risks, including, for example:

  • Failing to register;
  • Failing to ensure MA associated persons are Series 50 qualified (still in pilot);
  • Failing to implement an MA-specific compliance program under Rule G-44;
  • Failing to distinguish placement-agent from brokerage activity (Rules G-32, G-34);
  • Failing to ensure fair dealing (Rule G-17).

The Advisory does not address a suite of disclosure and other requirements (e.g. Rule G-42) pending approval by the SEC.

As those subject to the MA regime work to come into compliance, they should regard this Advisory as foreshadowing an SRO examination checklist.

The Advisory is here.