News & Analysis as of

The Municipal Advisor Regulatory Framework - Where We Are and Where to Next

On September 19, 2016, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board ("MSRB") advised Congress that it had "just concluded development of a core regulatory framework for municipal advisors." This by no means signals a significant...more

MSRB Responds to Issuer Complaints and Improves Bank Loan Disclosures on EMMA

In late September, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) announced that it had taken steps to enhance the bank loan disclosure submission process and the display of these documents on MSRB’s Electronic Municipal...more

6th Circuit Orders Pay-to-Play Challenge to Merits Panel

The Sixth Circuit this week declined the SEC’s request to dismiss a Constitutional challenge to the new MSRB pay-to-play rules.  Instead, the Court ordered the case to a merits panel for consideration.  The Republican parties...more

The Federal Securities Pay-to-Play Regulatory Framework is Complete - A Primer for Financial Services Firms

On September 20, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") issued two orders effectively completing the federal pay-to-play regulatory framework for investment advisers, municipal advisors, underwriters of...more

SEC Approves FINRA Pay-to-Play Rules

Placement agents to private funds who seek investments by state and local pension plans must comply with restrictions on political contributions and related activities. On August 25, 2016, the Securities Exchange...more

Investment Management Update

The Securities and Exchange Commission Adopts Amendments to Form ADV and Investment Adviser Act Rules - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments to Form ADV and Investment Advisers Act of 1940...more

SEC Approves FINRA & MSRB (Almost) Pay-to-Play Rules

The SEC announced August 25 that it approved FINRA’s pay-to-play rules governing placement-agent or solicitor broker-dealers and was “prepared” to approve the extension of MSRB Rule G-37 to municipal advisors as well....more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume XI, Issue 34

SEC/CORPORATE - SEC Increases Registration Statement Filing Fees for Fiscal Year 2017 - On August 31, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that, effective October 1, the fees that public companies and...more

Private Fund Advisers Must Pay Close Attention to Nuances under Pay-to-Play Restrictions in Light of Upcoming Elections Nationwide

As the elections approach nationwide, advisers to private investment funds with current or prospective state or local government entity investors should be mindful of political activities by their personnel which could raise...more

Private Fund Advisers Must Pay Close Attention to Nuances under Pay-to-Play Restrictions in Light of Upcoming Elections Nationwide

As the elections approach nationwide, advisers to private investment funds with current or prospective state or local government entity investors should be mindful of political activities by their personnel which could raise...more

Impact of Pay-to-Play Rules in the 2016 Election Cycle

The federal Pay-to-Play Rules may impact campaign contributions in the 2016 election and, in particular, campaign contributions to a major party’s presidential campaign. Financial institutions that do business with, or seek...more

MSRB: No Attempts to Mandate Bank Loan Disclosure…For Now

Following its July 27-28, 2016 quarterly board meeting, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) has announced that it will not pursue new regulations to mandate disclosure of bank loan information by municipal...more

SEC & MSRB’s Pay-to-Play Rule: “Governing Games - Mocking, Part 2”

This SRO gamesmanship is making a mockery of governing. The latest is the SEC’s position that it didn’t take any action on the new MSRB Rules extending pay-to-play prohibitions to municipal advisors, so it can’t be sued...more

California State Treasurer Sets His Sights on Curbing Pay-to-Play in the Municipal Bond Arena

While it’s easy for mainstream news outlets to get caught up in the mid-summer drama of Vice-Presidential selections, national political party conventions, and the geopolitical repercussions of Brexit, we here at Pay to Play...more

Municipal Advisor, School Consultant, and Associated Individuals Enter Settlement Offers with SEC after First-of-Its-Kind...

On June 13, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accepted the settlement offers made by two firms and three executives charged with using deceptive business practices in dealing with five school districts. As...more

Investment Management Update

SEC Enforcement Action against Private Equity Fund Adviser - On June 1, 2016, the SEC announced that a private equity fund adviser and its principal owner agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle SEC charges that,...more

SEC’s First Action Based On Dodd-Frank Muni Adviser Fraud Section

The SEC has been focusing on municipal bond offerings, filing a series of enforcement actions. An action brought this week is the first, however, based on the Dodd-Frank fraud section related to municipal advisers. The action...more

SEC Brings First Action under Dodd-Frank Municipal Advisor Antifraud Rules

Two California-based municipal advisory firms and their executives have agreed to settle SEC charges that they used deceptive practices when soliciting the business of five California school districts....more

Republicans Announce Plans to Replace Dodd-Frank

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) unveiled details of the Financial CHOICE Act – the Republican plan to replace the Dodd-Frank Act and promote economic growth. CHOICE stands for Creating Hope...more

Municipal Conduct Rule G-42 Effective June 23

The MSRB’s amended Rule G-42 becomes effective June 23, prescribing new conduct standards for municipal advisors and for the underwriters working with them. In advance of the effective date, the MSRB has published...more

Joint Notice: MSRB and FINRA Increasing Scrutiny of Private Bank Placements

Direct lending by banks has proliferated in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market as states, local governments and non-profits find that they can borrow, in the form of direct loans, at interest rates comparable to those on...more

MSRB on Direct Purchases – Transparency Trumps Tower?

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) issued a concept release last month suggesting that market transparency trumps the direct Congressional prohibition against federal regulations requiring filing of...more

TN Republican Party Challenges MA Pay-to-Play Rules

On April 12, the Tennessee Republican Party filed a petition in the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking to invalidate the SEC’s approval of new rules extending the MSRB’s long-standing “pay-to-play” prohibitions to new...more

First SEC Case Against Municipal Advisor Under New Fiduciary Duty

On March 15, 2016, the SEC announced its first enforcement proceeding for breach of the fiduciary duty for municipal advisors created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. The SEC issued a cease and desist order alleging that...more

First SEC Case Re Dodd-Frank Municipal Fiduciary Duty Provision

The Commission brought its first action based on Exchange Act Section 15B(c)(1) as amended by Section 275 of Dodd-Frank. Under that provision municipal advisors and their associated persons have a fiduciary duty to their...more

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