Municipal Advisers

News & Analysis as of

The Changing Fiduciary Duty Landscape in a Trump Presidency

The fiduciary standards for institutions and individuals providing investment advice throughout the retail investment and municipal securities markets are currently undergoing significant change. Following on the heels of the...more

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

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

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

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

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

Political Contributions to the Donald J. Trump Presidential Campaign Might Adversely Affect Advisers That Have or Are Seeking...

Last week, Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee for U.S. president, selected Governor Mike R. Pence of Indiana as his running mate for vice president. The selection of Governor Pence might have implications under the SEC’s...more

"Contributions to Trump/Pence Campaign Are Subject to Pay-to-Play Rules"

On July 15, 2016, Donald Trump announced that he selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate. Contributions to the Trump/Pence campaign are now subject to prohibitions and restrictions under the...more

The Financial Report, Volume 5, Number 12 - June, 2016 (Global)

Discussion and Analysis In our last edition, we discussed a recent SEC enforcement action against a private equity fund advisory firm and its owner, who agreed to pay more than $3 million to settle 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

SIFMA Releases Draft Municipal Advisor Rule G-42 Compliance Documents

Starting June 23, municipal advisors will be subject to revised Rule 42 and its heightened engagement letter and disclosure obligations. SIFMA has released exposure drafts of compliance documents to help MAs meet those...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

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

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC filed its first action against a municipal adviser for breach of fiduciary duty based on a provision amended by Dodd-Frank. The agency also continued to file insider trading actions in an administrative forum....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

SEC Brings First Ever Charges Against Municipal Advisors

The SEC charged Kansas-based Central States Capital Markets, its CEO, and two employees for breaching their fiduciary duty by failing to disclose a conflict of interest to a municipal client. The case is the SEC’s first to...more

MSRB Rule G-20: Recent Amendments Become Effective on May 6, 2016

On November 6, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved amendments by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) to MSRB Rule G-20 regarding gifts, gratuities and non-cash compensation. The...more

Municipal Advisor Pay-to-Play Rules “Deemed Approved”

The MSRB’s Rule G-37 amendments applying pay-to-play prohibitions to Municipal Advisors and their third-party solicitors will become effective August 17, 2016....more

Pay-to-Play: FINRA Requests SEC Approval of Proposal to Regulate Political Contributions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently published for comments rules proposed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) to regulate...more

FINRA and the SEC Issue 2016 Examination Priorities Targeting EB-5 Program

Earlier this month, both the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) included the EB-5 Immigrant Investor...more

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