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On September 18th, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted unanimously to adopt rules establishing a permanent registration regime for municipal advisors as required by the Dodd-Frank act.
Municipal bond issuers frequently rely on advisers to help them decide how and when to issue securities and how to invest proceeds from the sale. Prior to Dodd-Frank, municipal advisers were not required to register with the SEC. Unregulated advisers frequently gave advice to municipalities, which were often unaware of any conflicts of interest a municipal adviser may have had.
Following the enactment of Dodd-Frank, the SEC established a temporary registration system. Already, more than 1,100 municipal advisers have registered with the SEC. The SEC Chair, Mary Jo White highlighted the benefits of municipal regulation by stating, “In the wake of the financial crisis, many municipalities suffered significant losses from complex derivatives and other financial transactions, and their investors were left largely unprotected from these risks. These rules set forth clear, workable requirements and guidance for municipal advisers and other market participants, which will provide needed protections for investors in the municipal securities markets.”
For more information on the SEC press release, click here.